By: Eric Greenwood
In a preemptive strike against the inevitable balking at a Weezer tribute this early in the game, the biography accompanying Deaddroid Records" wholly unnecessary Weezer tribute claims that "if you name your current favorite indie rock/punk/emo band, you"ll probably also be naming a group of unabashed Weezer fans." That"s very likely true if you take the pronoun "you" to mean "typical emo fans." However, the statement becomes less accurate when you cast a net wide enough to include indie rock and punk fans as well, but let"s give them the benefit of the doubt.
Apart from the fact that, yes, it is indeed far too early to be paying tribute to a band that has barely released three records and done little more for the music community than, well, become popular, the bands featured here don"t even bother to venture onto the third Weezer album at all- a wise idea, perhaps, as the songs on the Green Album don"t hold up as well, but still… So, every song covered here is off either Weezer"s self-titled debut or Pinkerton, making the purpose of this homage even more frivolous. Oh, but the biography cleverly deflects the indulgence of reminding us of the "genius that is Weezer" as an excuse to introduce "some of the indie scene"s best and brightest."
"Hardcore" band Affinity obliterate any semblance of the charm of "My Name Is Jonas." It"s one thing when you"re a hardcore band and you scream your angry songs; it"s quite another when you scream your happy songs, too. The screaming becomes limp and ineffective, if not altogether comical. This follows simple logic, as the emotional impact of shrieking is innately associated with rage. Affinity is apparently a one-trick pony. Why do hardcore emo bands ever sing sensitively and scream simultaneously? This NEVER sounds good. Death metal and hardcore emo sometimes cross paths when they both sound so absurd that you can"t help but laugh.
Piebald, is more faithful to Weezer in its rendition of "No One Else", which makes the song completely useless. It"s too close to the original yet clearly not as good. So why bother? Glasseater metal-izes "Holiday", which would probably sate Rivers Cuomo"s penchant for metal, but it"s also rather pointless. The finger-snap breakdown builds into an embarrassing emo screamfest that is absolutely awful. Grade interprets "Surf Wax America" through the voice of Ian Mackaye. The singer sounds like a blockhead, growling through what was a perfectly happy pop song before Grade got a hold of it. Further Seems Forever shows an ounce of originality with a piano introduction to "Say It Ain"t So", but sadly the song falls into the typical trap of mimicry.
Christopher John (AKA Elliott) out-emo"s itself/himself by turning the chug-along rocker "The World Has Turned" into a drippy, drab, crybaby ballad, complete with liquid-honey male vocals spread like mayonnaise across a foundation of piano twinkling. Ack. Dashboard Confessional continues the gooey emo slime with a cover of the b-side, "Jamie", so by the time Mycomplex kicks in with its extra-rocking version of "Tired Of Sex" it sounds like a refreshing change of pace. But The Ataris drag it all back down to reality with the "perhaps I"ve said too much" intimacy of Cuomo"s acoustic "Butterfly." Boring. Cuomo can pull it off because he"s got panache. In The Ataris" hands it sounds like a typical singer-songwriter piece of acoustic trash.
I don"t mean to sound like a killjoy- I just think tribute albums are a colossal waste of time. With that in mind, this one is an even bigger waste than most. A cleverer tribute would have featured a more diverse collection of bands that played varying styles of music. Who wants to hear pop punk bands pay tribute to a pop punk band? I guess pop punk fans would" Regardless of whether you appreciate Weezer"s quirky, introspective rock, you would have to admit that any kind of tribute to Weezer is grossly premature at this point. Even the band itself would cede that much.