10 May 2013

10th May - Weezer's Weezer

Artist – Album: Weezer - Weezer
Released: 10th May 1994
Sounds Like: Speccy Power Pop

See how gawky Rivers Cuomo and pals look there on the cover to their debut album. It’s hard to picture four more awkward poses; they’re hardly the Ramones are they? Of course, since finding fame Weezer have fully embraced their geek rock image, sporting thick rimmed glasses and rocking out with the Muppets, but back in 1994 they were just uncomfortable, nerdy young men.

However ill at ease they may have appeared on the artwork, they certainly didn’t sound it on the album’s 10 tracks. With a fantastic recipe of Pixies style loud-soft dynamics and Raspberries, Big Star and Cheap Trick tinged 70’s power pop, the group rocked out and enjoyed it in a way that not many in the grunge era were capable of. They brought back blistering solos and sunny harmonies and they did it proudly and confidently. The lyrics hinted at their geekdom – references to Dungeons and Dragons, Buddy Holly and confessions like “In the garage, I feel safe, no one cares about my ways” – but throughout Rivers Cuomo exudes self-assurance, as if he knows that they sound awesome. And they do. ‘My Name is Jonas’, ‘No One Else’ and ‘The World Has Turned and Left Me Here’ is a phenomenal opening trio, and the fourth song, the classic ‘Buddy Holly’, betters even them. ‘Say It Ain’t So’ was one of my all time favourites when I was younger, whilst ‘In the Garage’, ‘Holiday’ and ‘Only in Dreams’ lend the tail end of the album a perfect, wistful edge.

What’s perhaps surprising is that such an incredible, rightly lauded mid 90s album, one which is really quite simplistic in its use of big dumb power chords and which follows basic verse chorus verse structures, hasn’t been  matched, or even come close to, by many albums since it’s release. It appears the boys are as clever (and dorky) as they look.

Albumaday... rating: 9/10

1.       My Name is Jonas – 3:24
2.       No One Else – 3:04
3.       The World Has Turned and Left Me Here – 4:19
4.       Buddy Holly – 2:39
5.       Undone – The Sweater Song – 5:05
6.       Surf Wax America – 3:06
7.       Say It Ain’t So – 4:18
8.       In the Garage – 3:55
9.       Holiday – 3:24
10.   Only in Dreams – 7:59

Listen to ‘My Name is Jonas’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbwI2-nJ0Tw

Also released on the 10th May:
1993: Blur – Modern Life is Rubbish
Also released on the 10th May:
2004: Keane – Hopes and Fears

Also released on the 10th May:
2010: The National – High Violet

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