The way back has never been the way forward, for you or for me or for all the good folks we know in Weezer. Like people (they’re made of ’em, after all), bands need to grow, develop, evolve — and in Weezer’s case, you can hear the sweet sound of progress in tunes like “Run Over By A Truck,” “The Spider,” “The Organ Player,” and “Pig.” Weezer are people, though, and nobody gets anywhere without making a few blunders along the way (some break down and cry; some rob banks, or murder; some release songs called “Cold Dark World”). Weezer’s fans are people, too, though, so it’s equally forgivable that sometimes they forget. Sometimes, Weezer fans want nothing more than a Weezer that plays it safe, that regresses, that simply sounds like they did back in those halcyon days of Blue and Pink.
Not me, I say — Weezer could record a free jazz record for all I care, as long as it’s bangin’ — but damn if this new one “Memories” isn’t more than just a little ironic. ‘Cause just when Rivers Cuomo decides to pen a song about wanting to “go back” (hey! I just listened to “The Good Life” this afternoon!) to the days when Weezer were a young and troublesome band of geeks banging out grade-A rock’n’roll (and pop, of course), the end product is something as far removed from those days as stylistically possible. I’m not sure if “Memories” is pop or rock or in what ratio the two relate during the song’s trim runtime, but whatever it is, it is bad in ways Weezer could have never imagined back then, and in ways Weezer fans could have scarcely imagined even by the standards of yesteryear. Say what you will about Raditude, but anything that we have from its sessions is preferable to this dreck, and the majority of Rad actually crushes “Memories.” Just like “Memories” crushes Weezer fans’ memories of Weezer more than any other of the band’s other (not uncommon) blunders, in that it not only sucks violently, it sucks violently while Cuomo is in the act of remembering when none of his music sucked. “Memories make me want to go back there,” goes the chorus again and again, and sweet damn do I ever find myself agreeing with him…which really isn’t my style! “Pig” might be my favorite Weezer song, dammit!
Okay, it’s a bit neat that Cuomo is screaming from the gut on this track like he hasn’t since the Kitchen Tape days that he’s singing about during the first verse, but only in theory (in practice, it sounds slop-poopy). And seeing how this song represents layer-upon-layer of sedimented nostalgia for Cuolmes — this is a 2010 revisiting of a song he home demoed in 2007, which was itself a revisiting of a song he wrote in 2003, about a time in his life roughly a decade prior to that — I can imagine that at one point or another, this song might have actually been kind of good. Hell, seeing how “Can’t Stop Partying” is at once one of the best (Alone II), worst (live in Korea ’09), and most confused (Raditude) things he’s ever done, there’s a chance that one memory of “Memories” might actually make for a great song (anything’s possible in Weezer’s universe, for better or worse). Because I’m a sick and miserable fuck, I’d really enjoy hearing every version of this song ever recorded and letting you know which is the best (Facebook me, Rivers) — but this new single version from the upcoming Hurley record cannot physically possibly be it. That’s how bad it is.
I’m talking in circles here, but in short: horrible verses (diseased melody, lyrics that go for quirky and wind up with fuck-stupid), one of the most remarkable spiritual deadzones ever placed in the “chorus” section of a Weezer song, a bridge and instrumental breakdown that do absolutely nothing, a grating self-congratulatory tone of wistfulness throughout, and jeez, yeah, that’s really all there is to this one-dimensional songscrap. This is the worst single Weezer has ever released, coming from a band responsible for insta-regrets on the order of “We Are All On Drugs.” This is maybe the worst album track the band’s ever released, actually, presuming this is Hurley‘s worst offering (which has never been the case for any =W= lead single, so…yikes?). And discounting “Cold Dark World,” too, because hey — people make mistakes.
Anyway, this right here right now is one too many for me, and I just needed to break the silence and share that with y’all while the wounds’re still fresh. I wanna go baaaaaaaaaaaack~~~