Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo has never been able to shake off the ghost of nostalgia, and it's never been more apparent than on the band's new "Back to the Shack" -- their first new song in four years.
With production from Ric Ocasek (who controlled the boards on Weezer's 1994 debut and 2000 comeback album, both self-titled), the upcoming "Everything Will Be Alright In The End" is being pitched as an attempt to recapture the band's early sound which seemed to start slipping away from them sometime around the turn of the millennium.
With the refrain "Rockin' out like it's '94," the confessional, self-conciously retro-sounding "Back to the Shack" is about exactly what it sounds like it would be about: Looking backwards and getting (somewhat) back to basics.
There's a through-line here from the Blue Album's "In the Garage" -- which reminisced about Cuomo's childhood as an outcast who found comfort in Kiss solos and "X-Men" comics -- and 2010's "Memories," which looked back fondly at the band's storied career and seemed to signal an end of sorts after years of increasingly bland pop hits and silly promotional gimmicks.
Now, Cuomo and co. return with lyrics like "Let's turn up the radio/turn off those stupid singing shows" and "I know where we know where we need to go...back to the shack." It's (typically) highly personal and sung directly at the fans who have turned away from the band in recent years, starting with "Sorry guys I didn't realize/that I needed you so much/I though I'd get a new audience/I forgot that disco sucks."
That's a nice sentiment, but the generic radio rock of "Back to the Shack" doesn't particularly sound like vintage Weezer, except for the middle 8 (in which Cuomo sings, "And if we die in obscurity/oh well/at least we raised some hell"). Still, it's a heck of a lot more promising than late-era schlock like "The Girl Got Hot" and "I'm Your Daddy."
Listen here and tell us what you think in the comments: