In the latter half of the 1980s, Ween emerged from New Hope, PA as the underground everymen of what would become branded as the “alternative rock” scene of the decades to follow. While the United States was inundated with hair metal bands employing stadium pyrotechnics, Gene Ween (Aaron Freeman) and Dean Ween (Mickey Melchiondo) pumped out crude cassette tapes of even cruder songs from a basement in Anytown, U.S.A.

With its 1990 debut GodWeenSatan: The Oneness, the group tapped into the nascent DIY movement with a gargantuan cache of homemade four-track recordings. Through live duo performances that were as unapologetic as the band’s brash music, a cult following propelled Ween to its 1991 follow-up, The Pod, considered by fans to be the brownest of the brown. Somewhere amid the Scotchguard-fueled haze of heavy distortion, there was something that caught the attention of the once-formidable Elektra Records, who signed Ween for its third album, 1992’s Pure Guava.

Pure Guava was a coming-of-age album for Ween. It would mark the group’s final album recorded on four-track, and thus managed to retain much of Ween’s basement aesthetic while also taking a definitively more polished step forward (at least when compared to its predecessor). According to author Hank Shteamer in the Chocolate & Cheese edition of his meticulous 33 1/3 book series, Ween sold the licensing rights to Elektra for $200,000 as part of a deal that would produce the band’s 1994 follow-up. Considering Pure Guava was recorded on four-track in the group’s Pennsylvania shack known as The Pod, the actual cost of the album is estimated at around $100—most of which went to pot and pizza.

One of the sharpest tools in Ween’s early arsenal was distorting voices through tape manipulation, and the technique is found throughout Pure Guava in adherence to the band’s brown roots. There are also turbulent journeys through utterly warped instrumentation, most notably in the chaotic “Morning Glory” as well as “Hey Fat Boy (Asshole)” and the album-closing “Poopship Destroyer”, a song the band continues to use as a punishment or reward for live audiences.

Related: The Absurd Reality Of The ‘South Park’ 25th-Anniversary Concert With Ween & Primus [Review]

But what also shines through the haze of Pure Guava is finely honed songwriting. As Dean Ween would later say, “If you write a dozen songs, you’re bound to write a dozen good ones.” The most obvious example is the penultimate “Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)”, which comes through like a crystal-clear power ballad following the distorted vendetta of “Hey Fat Boy”. The album also houses the band’s first breakout hit “Push Th’ Little Daises”, whose mainstream appeal was as surprising to the band as anyone else. Before long, Deaner and Gener found themselves skewered by Beavis and Butt-Head and rubbing shoulders with “The Weasel” Paulie Shore at MTV Spring Break.

If GodWeenSatan was Ween’s infancy, then Pure Guava was Ween’s puberty, angst and anger well accounted for. After the 1992 album, the band would move into a (somewhat) proper studio to record Chocolate & Cheese—which consisted of the band moving a studio’s worth of equipment into a rented office in a shared building, much to the chagrin of its adjoining neighbors. Dean and Gene would also bring in a full band, working with drummer Claude Coleman Jr. for the first time and having longtime producer Andrew Weiss play bass. This would lay the foundations for the live juggernaut that Ween would become in the mid-’90s and continue into the present day. Pure Guava is the link that took Ween out of the basement, broadcast the unholy Boognish across the country, and poised it for world domination in the decade to come.

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ween’s Pure Guava by streaming the album below.

Ween – Pure Guava