Weezer. Alternative rock band from Los Angeles, California, specialising (mostly) in melodic power-pop, usually with a romantic lyrical bent. Formed in 1992, with a lineup that has consisted of Rivers Cuomo (vocals and guitar, 1992-present), Patrick Wilson (drums, 1992-present), Matt Sharp (bass and vocals, 1992-1998), Brian Bell (guitar and vocals, 1993-present), Jason Cropper (guitar and vocals, 1992-1993), Mikey Welsh (bass and vocals, 1998-2001) and Scott Shriner (bass and vocals, 2001-present). Primary name associated with the phrase “geek rock”, and the most direct influence on the late ’90s/early 2000s US popular emo-core movement (Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, Saves the Day etc.).
They’ve been basically my favourite band since I started listening to them with a vengeance in mid-2000, but I haven’t really written much about them (a couple of track-by-track reviews aside) since I abandoned my surprisingly-popular fansite, WeezerfansUK, about eight or nine years ago. That’s changing with this blog project, in which I’m listening to every one of their songs, in chronological order, and writing about them on an era-by-era basis. If you want a full tracklist and an explanation of the self-imposed rules, check out the introductory post – but if you’re ready to get on with the project, then read on.
(And feel free to do a listen of the albums – or a re-listen, if you’re a fan – yourself, and join in with your comments, if you fancy it. I’ve tried to make this as accessible as possible both to long-time fans, and to those who don’t know much about the band but might find it an interesting read, so here and there you’ll find embedded Youtube songs so you can hear some of the things I’m talking about.)
WHAT? A blog-based listening project that will involve going through (just about) every single Weezer song, in chronological order, and charting the evolution (or, in some cases, devolution) of the band’s songwriting and recording styles.
WHY? My favourite band for over a decade, Weezer continue to fascinate me even as they continue their slide towards being one of the music industry’s biggest running jokes. Their recent recording output has been baffling, bizarre and – in the main – borderline unlistenable, yet there’s something about them that means they can never wholly be written off, and even the worst albums contain nuggets of merit. I want to examine why that is, as well as looking at why and how they’ve got to this stage in the first place. I also find it fascinating to look at the surprisingly high number of “albums that never were”, and compare them with the official eight albums that have seen release.
HOW? Rather than taking each song on a detailed one-by-one basis (it’s been done, and with over 150 songs to get through it’d take bloody ages), I’ll look at blocks of songs in separated “eras” – each centred around a particular album but also taking in things that might have gone on in the year or so either side of it.
I hope it’ll be interesting – especially for those of you who actually like the band, but maybe for some of you who don’t as well. I’ll try and include song links here and there so that readers who don’t know the material I’m talking about can sample the important bits.
Finally, a few quick notes for people who might actually know what I’m on about:
See you later this month for part one!