Thursday, September 19th, 2019

Weezer – The End of the Game

Imagine if all these bands were opening for Protomartyr…


Ian Mathers: As opposed to Green Day, Weezer always just sound like fucking Weezer, no matter how many stylistic flourishes they try out. What’s the old Protomartyr record called? No Passion All Technique?

Isabel Cole: Bumped a point for the Aslan line, which I regret to report made me laugh out loud.

Josh Buck: Neither hella, nor mega. 

Alfred Soto: Many of us have praised the late Ric Ocasek for his songwriting and production chops. Maybe we should look at his keeping Weezer going as a blot. 

Juan F. Carruyo: Weezer is essentially a well-oiled meme machine by now. So, of course, their new single starts with an Eddie Van Halen tribute (circa 1984) and the video offers some heavy fan service for Area 51 nerds. If there happens to be a memorable chorus hidden somewhere in-between all this effervescence, well, that’s neat. Rivers will keep on keeping on. 

Katherine St Asaph: Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

Will Adams: A nostalgia trip, yes, but one that works because its references are woven through the whole song instead of being slapped on top as is often the case. It’s there in the music, which alternates between “Jump”-style cheesiness and Weezer’s own brand of sunny pop-punk. It’s there in the lyrics, sometimes clunky (Aslan, a Mick Jagger/Marianne Faithfull analogy) but also nicely nodding to the band’s history (“Island In the Sun” and “Hash Pipe”). Most importantly, the nostalgia is tied to the narrative. It acknowledges how melodies latch themselves to your conscious in ways that a trinket or photograph of you with your ex don’t. Sometimes they won’t leave you; sometimes, for the other, the melody no longer finds them. That’s what makes “End of the Game” work so well; no matter how crisp the guitars, surging the arrangement, or catchy those melodies, what was once our song can dissolve into a song.

Taylor Alatorre: Naming your newest album Van Weezer after your hastily released covers album got more play than the one that premiered on Fortnite may seem like a canny move, and it is. But in this case it’s a more humbled form of commercial calculation: a concession to who the modern Weezer fanbase is rather than who Rivers would like it to be. There’s more separation between 2019 and 1994 than there is between “My Name Is Jonas” and “Runnin’ with the Devil,” so why not throw your lot in with the dinosaurs of FM radio if it frees you from losing an eternal game of catch-up with the new kids? “The End of the Game” is written and recorded as if Eddie himself were looking over the band’s shoulders, much as the late Ric Ocasek was with their 2014 comeback. This both tempers their wackiest impulses and gives them a concrete goal to strive toward, even if that goal is as simple as “making the kind of sincere pastiche that Nerf Herder never had the guts or chops to.”

Jibril Yassin: A throwback to a different time when Weezer was releasing terrible albums signalled by 10/10 lead singles convincing us they were in on the joke. Weezer now operates in three modes: create strangely inert pop music with lyrics seemingly crowdsourced from a spreadsheet, anticipating the coming backlash with what sounds like ’94-era b-sides and the third one….well. I guess we’re ready for Meme Weezer to get to their snake-eating-tail phase but this hair metal phase we’re seemingly about to get isn’t a totally unwelcome one. 

Reader average: [7] (1 vote)

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2 Responses to “Weezer – The End of the Game”

  1. did not expect weezer to be the highest score of today, though I share responsibility for it

  2. The most interesting Weezer song is a really long time.

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