Please stop hounding on Weezer, thank you.
Willoughby Thom | Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Okay, yes, I am a Weezer fan, and I hope by saying so doesn’t hurt my reputation. For some reason, everyone likes to sh*t on Weezer, and I don’t know why. I decided to type “why does everyone hate Weezer?” into Google, and I found a mixed batch of answers, primarily on Reddit. Some hate the band because they are too “emo” or not “emo” enough, while others hate them because they are “too perfect.” They released a groundbreaking debut record the “Blue Album” in 1994, following it up two years later with a revolutionary sophomore album “Pinkerton.” The list goes on, but there is a great paradox at play here: all of the hate stems from dedicated, die hard fans. Does that mean that if you sh*t on Weezer, you secretly like them too? Definitely food for thought.
Nevertheless, everyone knows who Weezer is, whether you realize it or not. In recent years, Weezer was a big topic of conversation because of their cover of Toto’s “Africa.” This cover was done because of a Twitter account called @weezerafrica, who begged the band to cover the classic 1982 hit for years, and in 2019, they finally gave in. After their release of “Africa,” they put out a full length album of covers on the “Teal Album,” and they have been putting out a lot of music since.
In addition to their 2019 revival, Weezer is known for their iconic discography which contains songs like “Island in the Sun,” “Say it Ain’t So,” “Undone — The Sweater Song” and “Hash Pipe.” Their classic sound could be described as traditional ‘90s pop punk, but, again, there seems to be a unique stigma surrounding that genre too. Weezer is pure nerd rock, on par with DEVO and They Might Be Giants. Weezer isn’t known for their complex lyrics — even though fans would argue “Pinkerton” is the most emotional and complex album, especially the song “Across the Sea” — but they put out relatively simple lyrics backed with quality pop-like tunes.
This year alone, Weezer has put out two records, “OK Human” and “Van Weezer,” which came out on Friday, May 7. “Van Weezer” was supposed to come out in 2020 to accompany their tour with Green Day, Fall Out Boy and The Interrupters called the Hella Mega Tour. However, due to the pandemic, they decided to push the album’s release. Interestingly, they didn’t change the release of “OK Human,” so both albums came out back-to-back, which was an interesting choice. I don’t know if that was the best idea, though.
“OK Human,” which was released Jan. 29, is fresh and new for Weezer. Rivers Cuomo sprung the announcement on his fans two weeks prior to its release, which caused some stir. At this time, fans had been eagerly waiting for “Van Weezer” to drop, but they gave us “OK Human” instead. Honestly, I wasn’t complaining. When the band announced plans for “Van Weezer” in 2019, they gave their fans a sneak peek with the single “The End of the Game,” which I found to be nothing special, but obviously Weezer. I forgot about Cuomo’s Van Halen, pop metal tribute plans for nearly two years, and I wasn’t too impressed with the final product. “Van Weezer” promised big guitars and dynamic beats, but I just found it overwhelmingly over-produced. There isn’t much else to say other than it felt like KIDZ BOP doing Weezer.
Unlike my absolute disappointment with Green Day and “Father of All Motherf—ers,” this was expected of Weezer. Weezer’s golden era was the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, but they have continued to produce some good-feeling pop since, like the “White Album” in 2016. I did vibe with their “Black Album” in 2019 and “OK Human,” so I would definitely recommend them if you’re in the mood for some straight-forward pop rock. But, don’t waste your time with “Van Weezer” — it’s a throw-away record and one that they needed for world-tour hype.
So, let’s normalize listening to Weezer without judgement! They may be the nerdiest, most hated yet loved pop, alternative rock group in the world, but they do produce some bangers.