Album review: Weezer - Weezer (The White Album)
PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 April 2016
Can the college rock kings come up with the goods on album number 10?
Only a miniscule proportion of people will give even the slightest of a monkey’s that Weezer’s fourth eponymous record, already dubbed The White Album, is supposedly a concept album.
The lyrics are haywire and hardly conducive to constructing a narrative - and who really listens to Weezer as an intellectual exercise?
So the real question is whether the shouty college rock they’re favoured for can continue undimmed by advancing age or dimishing creative returns.
The answer’s not definitive. A sunny outlook is reflected off peppy opener California Kids through the window of the plinky piano and crunchy guitars of Wind In Our Sail, a less likely candidate for optimism which finds the protagonist couple defiantly trying to save their souls on life’s rough seas.
Thank God For Girls, the album’s lead single, finds frontman Rivers Cuomo inverting stereotypes, lusting after a butch babe in “sweaty overalls”. But the lyrical sideways looks are flattened by a shock-and-awe grunge-guitar chorus and supermarket songwriting that’ll leave all but the most additive-addled pre-teen grinding their teeth.
Sure, a good heft of Weezer’s appeal lies in slacker-cool cache, but this is scraping the barrel.
There’s forgettable filler aplenty in the recycled rock of King Of The World and Summer Elaine And Drunk Dori, and the bubblegum pop of (Girl We Got A) Good Thing.
But Do You Wanna Get High’s languorous inertia shows promise as the musical equivalent of a dope fiend.
Guitar solo trickery is largely absent, too, making the one that cuts through L.A. Girlz feel like they’ve given The Darkness Permission To Land. Or should that be gatecrash?
They do at least end promisingly with the emotional ennui of album swansong Endless Bummer, but by then The White Album feels about as fresh as that grey sock that keeps turning up in the wash.
Rating: 3/5 stars