Single Review – Weezer – Feels Like Summer

Weezer, arguably one of the best bands to come out of the “MTV generation” return again this year with their eleventh album in 20 years and their first taster track ‘Feels like Summer’ is clearly something quite different to the usual. This track comes hot off the back of arguably their best album (the White Album) since Pinkerton which dropped last year.

The LP and it’s predecessor Everything Will Be Alright In The End, saw a return to the core Weezer sound of heavy ‘cock’ rock guitars, intricate and often silly lyrics as well as it’s typical teenage angst. The band’s first single of this return, ‘Back To The Shack’ promised fans this return with the words ‘I thought I’d get a new audience, I forgot that disco sucks / I ended up with nobody and I started feeling dumb’. Fans of this rebirth will undoubtedly be disappointed with Feels Like Summer in which the quartet mix their stadium rock edge with more electronic and dance elements: contrary to their usual they are reinventing their wheel.

​How well the band do it is up for debate however. The track with it’s unimaginative lyrics and lack of any distinctive riff or hook makes the track a forgettable one in their large discography. The change sonically is understandable given that the White Album felt like an accumulation of their 20 years in the industry where they could show off the mastery of their sound, here however the track feels unoriginal and disappointingly uncreative by their record. Whilst the hope is that this single is simply a blip or that when put in the context of a full-length album the track makes more sense or has some added weight, at the moment however, the feeling has to be a little disappointing. Here’s hoping.
Callum Christie

Weezer – White Album Review

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Weezer are weirdos. In a good way. Throughout the 90s their strange combination of heavy Kiss-esk guitars, arena power pop and pure geek cred made them one of the best bands to come from the “MTV generation”. Since then the band haven’t exactly overhauled their music or hit the same heights as they did on their debut album Weezer or Pinkerton. Besides their consistent musical style, it’s inconsistency that has prevented them from reaching these heights. Although since Pinkerton (1996) they have created some great singles (Pork n Beans (’08), Back to The Shack (2014)) they have yet to do so consistently. On this point, their new album delivers.
​The opener ‘California Kids’ is the kind of fun opener that Weezer make in their sleep. A fun, light opener gives way to those familiar heavy guitars in the chorus where Rivers Cuemo sings about the helpfulness of California Kids who’ll “throw you a lifeline”. In the follow-up, “Wind of a Sail” we see what is a minor change for the band. The introduction and blending of piano keys makes the soft sections sweeter and the contrast with the heavy chorus all the sharper and catchy. Science geekiness rears its adorable head on the chorus here as Cuemo sings about having the wind in our sails like “Darwin on the Beagle/ or Mendle experimenting with a pea”. Collectively candy sweet
​The tapping piano keys follows into “Thank God for Girls”. Besides the great guitar work and Cuemo’s eccentric vocals the real winner here is the lyrics. The band craft yet another fantastic chorus where they “Thank God for girls/ Holla Jesu Christe/ From Tennesse to LA/ On Your Reckoning Day/ Better bow down and pray” but the verses too are incredible clever.
​The single from the album “Do Ya Wanna Get High” emphasises the other side of Weezer. The guitars and drums are grungier and moodier than the rest of album but again this is contrasted with pop sensibility with little “ooos”. From the off “King of the World” veers toward the arena pop style of their sound. Underneath the arena pop aesthetic there’s a beautiful sentiment in the song as Cuemo sings about wanting protect his lover from pain. If only he was “was King of the World”. The song then cuts back to reality as the song slows down and he realises that “We are the small fish/ We swim together/ No Prozac or Valium/ We’ll face tsunamis together”. “Endless Bummer” gives the album a nice finish. Again, clever lyrics accompany a relaxed acoustic led beginning before the glam rock guitars crash over one another in a frenzied finale.
​If more than twenty years after Weezer’s debut album you’re expecting them to recreate the wheel than you’ll find this album disappointing. What we do get on the White Album is a near perfect refinement of the music that has seen Weezer become successful (nearly every song clocks in at 3:30 emphasising just how refined the sound is). The quality of production on the album ensures that there’s no weak tracks but the reason this album is better than they’re last few efforts comes down to song writing. At the very very least, the Weezer white album will give you 8-10 great catchy chorus to hum and sing. Full of teenage angst, crashing guitars and geeky lyrics, Weezer prove that you don’t need to overhaul your sound to come up with some of your best music.

Weezer – White Album = 8/10

Callum Christie