Picks and Pans Review: Maladroit
“Cheese smells so good/ On a burnt piece of lamb/ Fact of the year/ Who could beat up your man?” Given Weezer front man Rivers Cuomo’s immense capacity for quirkiness, it’s no surprise that the roaring “Dope Nose,” the first single off this follow-up to last year’s platinum self-titled disc, makes little sense. As with the band’s 1994 hit “Undone (The Sweater Song),” that’s what makes it wacky fun.
With their grinding guitars set against charmingly retro choruses, it’s easy to dismiss the L.A. quartet as simply eccentric novelty rockers. But some tracks are actually deeper than they seem: When Cuomo is not making references to overdone meat, his lyrics, at times anguished, can add a poignancy to the punkiest moments. It’s not all thrash and burn. On the ’50s-inspired “December,” the plaintive notes struck by Cuomo’s usually deadpan voice turn a would-be bauble into a gem.
Bottom Line: A Weezer pleaser