Legendary power/pop rock group Weezer, consisting of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, guitar and songwriter), Patrick Wilson (drums), Brian Bell (rhythm guitarist, backing vocals) and Scott Shriner (bass), released their third single, “Beach Boys” from their upcoming 11th studio album Pacific Daydream. Like their other two singles, this new release has left fans uncertain about how to feel about the upcoming album.
Rising to fame in the early ’90s with the release of their self-titled album, also known as the Blue Album, Weezer established their signature nerd-rock, guitar-driven sound that has earned its way onto many “best albums of the ‘90s” lists. If you’ve ever jammed to Weezer, you know that this sound is one that often leaves you headbanging to a sick guitar riff.
On a scale from the “most Weezer sounding” single to least “Weezer sounding” single from Pacific Daydream, I’d say their most recent single, “Beach Boys,” falls somewhere in the middle. “Beach Boys” is an homage to the surf rock band The Beach Boys. The track opens with a defined guitar sound, but slowly morphs into something with a more pop-like flavor. When first hearing the song, I could tell it was Weezer by Cuomo’s voice, but other than that, there’s not really a “Weezeresque” sound to it. Because “Feels Like Summer” was the first single from Pacific Daydream that I listened to, I wasn’t blindsided by the pop sound that I was experiencing with “Beach Boys.”
“Mexican Fender,” the second single from Pacific Daydream, released Aug. 17, is truer to Weezer’s sound, yet it still feels like there is more of an abundance of pop. The song starts off with a heavy guitar presence before Cuomo breaks into song about meeting a girl. Even though the song isn’t entirely different from Weezer’s older stuff, it’s definitely a little too poppy for me. “Beach Boys” is a pop-song with a pinch of rock, while “Mexican Fender” is a pop-song with a spoon full of rock mixed in.
“Feels Like Summer” is painfully electropop-like. Well, not even “like.” It’s just straight pop. It starts off with muffled “nah, nah, nahs” before introducing listeners Cuomo’s voice over simple piano chords.
When I first heard this song, I couldn’t really believe that it was even Weezer. Later, when I found out that it was their most popular song since “Pork and Beans” came out in 2008, I almost passed out. I’m not saying that the song was completely bad, but it definitely sounded like a mediocre pop song not worthy to be as highly regarded as classic Weezer bangers like “Say It Ain’t So,” “Buddy Holly” or “Hash Pipe.”
Even Weezer’s latest self-titled album release, also known as the White Album, contained some songs on it that were debatably different from past albums, while still receiving critical acclaim and approval from fans. This can be heard on tracks such as “Endless Bummer” or “I Love The USA.” Even so, the album still had songs like “Thank God For Girls” that followed the Weezer formula for a great song: lots of guitar, a chorus that can be loudly and badly sung and the dynamic range from the quieter and calmer lyrics, to the louder chorus.
We know that come October, fans can expect this album to have a pop feel to it, with maybe a lighter beach aesthetic as the album title alludes to. But for the love of rock ‘n’ roll, I am praying to the rock gods that there will be some sick guitar solos I can jam to and maybe some lyrics to scream along to. I love the Beach Boys too, Weezer, but give us some rock.
Contact CU Independent Arts Staff Writer Lizette Wright at Lizette.Wirght@colorado.edu