Everything Will Be Alright In The End
What’s important here is not that this is the best Weezer album in a decade or more. What’s important is that that is no real compliment, let alone any sort of achievement. Weezer’s back catalogue is an embarrassment. A couple of still-listenable albums – in that similar way you might raise a wry smile when looking through an old photo album – and then loads of scrappy, shitty, horrible attempts to be, I dunno, relevant – and sounding more like the horrible wave of nearly-pop/sorta-punk bullshit they arguably inspired than ever sounding like, well, themselves.
The blue album, green album (both self-titled, both produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars) and the bridging – apparently alienating Pinkerton (their best) – are the only correct answers when it comes to naming Weezer albums that are a) okay to like and/or b) actually any good. If you start in on that Maladroit or red album or anything else you’ve lost me. And you’ve lost it. You’ve left the plot back where Weezer continues to return – as is the case here on Back To The Shack another Hash Pipe-type reminder of what Weezer used to be (once. Maybe twice).
But where so many people seem to think of the happy daze of Weezer rebooting Happy Days for one of its early videos no one is telling you that listening to Weezer in 2014 – particularly Weezer2014-trying-to-sound-like-Weezer1994 is sadder – I’m going to guess – than the diaries of Gordon Gano; for like the Violent Femmes before them, Weezer’s chief absurdity is basking in these overwrought clichés – frankly unbelievable – of a depressed 40-something goon lamenting losing out to the guy with the faster car, bigger cock and better jacket (presumably the one with more sports patches on it).
Weezer’s earnest-pisstake shred antics here – particularly on a closing suite (The Waste Land/Anonymous/Return To Ithaka) might be better suited on a Tenacious D record. You know, that silly band that got away with it – also for far too long – because at the end of the day you could always believe the fall back/escape clause that this was the work of actors.
That Weezer can feel good about releasing this self-conscious attempt to rewrite/retread the blip on the radar when they were relevant is one thing. (They even brought back Ric Ocasek – purely, you have to assume, for comparisons to that early once-vital, now okay/ish work). That a bunch of bored hacks and desperate fans could embrace it – well that’s the truly underwhelming part.
This album is fucking shit. Or, put another way, it is the fourth best Weezer album. Yes.