Sunday, October 30, 2016

Weezer - Pinkerton

In which the preppy geeks of Buddy Holly grew a pair of big heavy balls.  The album came out in 1996 and the wallop of guitars and drums that propelled opener Tired of Sex will have startled many, not to mention front man Rivers Cuomo's strangled yelps.  The catchy tunes are still here, you just have to work harder with them.  Second track in, Getchoo is a wonderfully malevolent pounder.  It swaggers in on a heavy drum beat and grungy riffs.

Another arresting howl opens the heavy pop of No Other One. Why Bother? and Across the Sea are hard riffing pop songs, a bit like Nirvana playing nursery rhymes. El Scorcho might be the catchiest thing here it's kind of reminiscent of The Sweater Song off their first album.  Unfortunately it ends with a fairly pointless acoustic strum, Butterfly which is completely out of place.  But leaving that aside, this is a good poppy, yet heavy album.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pavement - Wowee Zowee

Pavement released Wowee Zowee in 1995, the follow up to the highly melodic Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.  It has the reputation of being a kind of glorious mess, with 18 tracks across 56 minutes.  To my mind it's not quite 'glorious'.  Too many of the tracks are scratchy and shouty with little merit (Brinx Job, Serpentine Pad, Best Friend's Arm etc).  It opens with the rather limp strum We Dance during which very little happens over 3 minutes.  The lurching, electric riffs of Rattled by the Rush are a distinct improvement, and Black Out is a wonderfully lazy strum, joined by soaring, breezy electric leads.  Other tracks like Grounded and AT&T are kind of prime Pavement, but on Father to a Sister of Thought they predict the alt-country movement with a gorgeous countrified strum, Doug Easley throwing a whole bunch of steel guitar all over it before beefier riffs kick in during the outtro.  Grave Architecture kicks off like a soft, Velvet-y track but unfortunately develops into a shouty track, and is kind of emblematic of the album.  Later into the album, Fight This Generation has a creeping, brooding quality to it but doesn't really develop into anything, just repeating "fight this generation" ad nauseum.  On the other hand, Kennel District does a decent approximation of a late-eighties Pixies track while the meaty, heavy riffs of Half a Canyon could be a pre-cursor to the White Stripes.

But there's no real fab standout, no Summer Babe, no Gold Soundz and no Major Leagues.  A hard Pavement album to love, though there are some decent tunes on it.