Let’s Welcome The Circus People

There's odd. Odd is good. [B]The Flaming Lips[/B] are odd, and so are [a]Pavement[/a]. But then there's quirky. [B]Quirky[/B] isn't so good....

There’s odd. Odd is good. The Flaming Lips are odd, and so are [a]Pavement[/a]. But then there’s quirky. Quirky isn’t so good. Weezer are quirky and so are Fountains Of Wayne. It’s a simple American alt-rock formula, and the fate of this Minneapolis three-piece hangs in the balance.

‘Split Personalities’ has its charms. It’s a pleasantly befuddled psychosis, rather than a teeth-grindingly intense one, manifesting in harmless symptoms of chiming guitars, woozy psychedelia and an obsession with the collected works of Brian Wilson. Before you know it, though – like the man himself – it’s all getting a little unbalanced. Eccentricity first comes, rather thrillingly, with the Numanoid stutter of ‘Red’, which splashes chorally through waves of My Bloody Valentine distortion, but later it comes with a little less good grace and reserve.

If there’s one thing that America does well, it’s therapy, and head Rod, Ryan Olcott needs to unload some elementary school angst. But when they sing about punching the schoolyard bully, and conclude it “feels like I’m taking a girl to second base” they really should think about graduating from Nerdrock High.

So, 12 Rods are quirky. If you like Weezer, you might like them. And that’s damning with some very faint praise indeed.