It’s 23 years since Weezer gave geeks a voice with awkward anthems ‘Buddy Holly’, ‘The Sweater Song’ and ‘Say It Ain’t So’. With that in mind, they could easily have passed by the current generation of pop-punk fans. For them to still be at it, daft as ever, brings to mind the meme-friendly Steve Buscemi 30 Rock scene, where he crashes a high school in a backwards baseball cap and greets students with, ‘How do you do, fellow kids?’
In their heyday, Weezer managed to distill the spirit of adolescence, and 11th album ‘Pacific Daydream’ sees them achieving the same feat. Opener ‘Mexican Fender’ perfectly captures their knack for sounding unforced and refreshingly unpretentious. ‘Summer Of ‘69’ for millennials, it’s an ultimate Weezer rush of nostalgia, where frontman Rivers Cuomo explains how he became the poster boy for nervous guys who come to fix the printer, but could actually shred like Brian May.
Beyond that, they cover the full, colourful spectrum of pop, viewed through the prism of emo; from the West Coast hip-hop bounce and EDM hooks of ‘Feels Like Summer’ to the late 90’s R&B swagger of ‘Happy Hour’. Nerd anthem ‘QB Blitz’ is another highlight, standing out like a Bieber-stamped ballad, only one about algebra. While it’s missing one true moshpit unifier that they tend to excel in, ‘Pacific Daydream’ is packed with pleasures that never feel guilty.
Age clearly hasn’t wearied Weezer. While they remain an institution of college rock, they’re not burdened by any of the baggage that comes with it. ‘Pacific Daydream’ is all carefree, expertly crafted pop, free of irony and all the better for it. Lock the doors, crack open a cold one, and enjoy an endless summer with Weezer.