With every new album comes the same question - which Weezer are we getting this time?
For decades now, Rivers Cuomo and his band of merry men have dodged expectation like few others. On the one hand, sit those that simply want them to return to their roots. With 2016’s self-titled White Album, they thought they’d finally won the battle, too. Sure, it wasn’t the legendary ‘Pinkerton’, but it nodded in that direction.
But then, on the other, sits the band’s own ambition. At various points over their career, Weezer have flirted with the ridiculous. Cuomo clearly has a frustrated desire to experiment. At times, it’s sort of worked - 2008’s Red Album had its moments. At others, well... ‘Raditude’.
And then there’s the middle ground. While ‘El Scorcho’ and ‘Say It Aint So’ might be where the hardcore see Weezer’s greatest moments, ‘Keep Fishin’’ and ‘Hash Pipe’ were the jumping on point for a generation too young to remember ‘Buddy Holly’, but still captured by their harmonic charms.
Which is all a long-winded way to set the scene for your traditional Weezer muddle. Though tracks titled ‘Zombie Bastard’ and ‘Can’t Knock The Hustle’ might inspire sighs in those looking to be disappointed, ‘High As A Kite’ shows that classic ear for a melody hasn’t dulled in the slightest. At times, the Black Album feels like an awkward band trying to hang out with ‘the kids’, at others, it feels like a brilliant mind trying to work out where it fits in the modern world. That’s so Weezer.