By Jonah Zitelli
Front-man Rivers Cuomo promised Weezer fans a return to the promised land – or in this case, the year 1994 – with the single, “Back to the Shack”, off of their newest album, Everything Will Be All Right In The End. While they may not have made all the way back there, they did make it back into the hearts (and headphones) of their fans, who had been, put simply, displeased with nearly every record the band put out since 2002’s Maladroit.
The full album was released on October 7th, 2014, following “Back to the Shack” on July 22nd and a leaked track, “Cleopatra”. Fans were pleased to find that the album triumphantly returned to Weezer’s roots in power pop. Right away it differs releases like 2008’s Red Album or 2010’s Hurley. As soon as the opening track, “Ain’t Got Nobody”, kicks off, chugging, fuzzed-out guitars and grinding, gritty bass evoke sweet memories of the upbeat-yet-heavy Green Album of 2001.
The classic “Weezer sound” is a product of the band as a whole rather than one or two instruments on their own. It’s been missed on the past few LPs, but sees a comeback on EWBAITE. Take a track like “Cleopatra” or “Da Vinci”. If isolated, the guitars become unremarkable, the drums simple, and the bass static. Together, though, they create catchy, exciting pop rock anthems. Despite this unmistakable sound being the template for most of the tracks on EWBAITE, Rivers gets creative with the guitar on tracks like “I’ve Had It Up To Here”, with its interesting hook, and “The British Are Coming”, which incorporates an odd acoustic riff. As a final treat to listeners, Weezer includes a three-part track full of face-melting, high-flying, death-defying guitar solos, called “The Futurescope Trilogy”.
Rivers returns to his roots lyrically on this album as well. He sings about what Weezer fans have come to expect: Girls, being unappreciated, and his longtime issues with his father (Although he recently resolved those issues and reconciled with his father). The lyrics are a little cheesy and shallow, but they are relatable, as has been standard for Weezer ever since the Blue Album.
Despite its relative greatness, EWBAITE is not the perfect comeback LP. It is common for pop rock albums to get boring as they drag on, and this is no exception. Although each track is catchy enough, there is an element of similarity between them, and around halfway through the album they begin to blur together. Tracks like “Lonely Girl” and “Eulogy For A Rock Band” do little to keep the attention of the listener.
Of course, every Weezer fan was secretly hoping for the second coming of the Blue Album in EWBAITE. “Back to the Shack” is no “Undone”, but the effort that Rivers and company put into this album is grounds for celebration by those still holding on to hope that the Weezer they loved would return. The band truly came together on this album to offer their desperate fans a return to the heavy, fuzz-soaked glory days of Maladroit, and they did an extraordinarily good job. Headed up by a renewed Rivers Cuomo, Weezer is on its way back, and there will certainly be more to come.
“Back To The Shack”
“I’ve Had It Up To Here”
“The Futurescope Trilogy”
Least Favorite Tracks
“Eulogy For A Rock Band”
“The British Are Coming”