Following three solo albums, shred guitarist and MTV star Dweezil Zappa teamed up with his brother Ahmet Zappa (jovial vocals) to lead a zany band of manic-excessive rockers under the economical moniker Z. When they’re not trying to mimic the droll mock-stupidity of their late father’s early work (“Singer in the Woods,” “Kidz Cereal”) or playing it straight (the pop-lite of “Doomed to Be Together”), Shampoohorn finds the junior Zappas sounding like hair-metal parodists making a hash of their borrowed in-joke.
Music for Pets tones down the brothers’ hyperactive outer child and gets on to music-making with more applied intelligence and, dare it be said, restraint. While glibly eclectic to a fault, the album is at least tolerable and, in “Father Time” — a touching and angry song about death — poignantly sincere.
Automatic features Lisa Loeb, with whom Dweezil was at the time keeping company. He appears on her 2002 release, Cake and Pie.