Paying homage to legends of the Californian music scene? Is this really the direction Weezer are taking?
It’s been over 20 years since the world was introduced to the seemingly brand new sub-genre that was ‘nerd rock’. In addition to pioneering this movement (albeit a subtle one), there is very little room to argue that the likes of the blue album and Pinkerton weren’t an absolute sensation. The fuzzy riffs accompanied by Rivers Cuomo’s now iconic wailings captured the hearts of listeners across the world. A fair amount of time has passed since then.
To say that Weezer have endured a turbulent career is an understatement. The highs and the lows occurred seemingly at random, however, many might discern that 2009/2010 saw the quality of music plummet with both Raditude and Hurley oozing corporate desperation. Cuomo’s self-confessed obsession with topping the charts infiltrated the band’s integrity, ultimately resulting in songs like Can’t Stop Partying. Yuck. Thankfully, a four-year wait for 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright In The End was extremely warranted as this album saw a resurgence in Weezer’s songwriting – the album was a reminder of the reasons that made us fall in love with these geeks.
Last year, we received the white album. The primary single from the album, Thank God For Girls, raised some questions marks – it was weird – not bad, just weird. Nervously musing about cannolis certainly made it difficult to determine the direction in which Weezer were heading. Thank god, the album featured pure summer jams that flitted between jubilance and melancholia in a seamless manner. While EWBAITE demonstrated the garage rock side of Weezer, white reinstated the surf rock aspects of the band – both of which are elements that define these guys as artists.
October will see the release of Weezer’s eleventh studio album, Pacific Daydream. We’ve already heard Feels Like Summer – an underwhelming attempt at a pop song that could have easily been plucked out of the arse end of Raditude – boring. Then we had Mexican Fender which had some redeeming qualities – you can really hear the nostalgia laced within the lyrics, however, the song is very safe – a repetitive chorus and pedestrian pace make for an ultimately forgettable listen. Once again, the anticipation of the next Weezer album is shrouded in question marks.
Following the release of this new single, one might discern that Pacific Daydream could be another one of Weezer’s lower points. A plodding, simple bass/guitar riff trundles throughout a song that’s only real defining quality is the chorus that does manage to insist an impression, but I think that’s mainly due to the frequency of which it’s repeated, as oppose to any songwriting prowess.
It’s obvious that The Beach Boys are a huge influence on Weezer (amongst many others) and are quite probably almost entirely to thank for the Californian wistfulness for which the band are renowned for. Thus, it makes sense for Weezer to pay direct homage to the band. That being said, a question I want to propose is: have Weezer run out of ideas? It would certainly make for an interesting discussion amongst us fans. We’re all very much aware that they can/have exercised the aforementioned Californian nostalgia until the cows come home, however, I feel as though enough is enough.
Beach Boys falls victim to the same criticism as Mexican Fender, it’s not necessarily a bad track, it just feels as though we’ve heard it before, and that’s boring. Lazy? Maybe. I will check back in when the full album is released – I’m anxious to hear it, but I’m certainly not holding my breath.