Rivers Cuomo Releases Video, Is Still Cool

By Peter Kimmich 2008-01-10 19:20:50
Reclusive musician and “emo-beard” connoisseur Rivers Cuomo is once again on the radar screens, as the Weezer front man is releasing the first video off his recent solo album, Alone. The video for the song “Blast Off” will hit the web tomorrow (Friday) on Yahoo!’s Video Premieres page, according to a bulletin posted Wednesday on Weezer.com.

The album, released in December, is a compilation of material that was recorded by Rivers during his at-home downtime over the years, spanning from 1992-2007. It can be summed up as a weird, off-the-wall collection of all the stuff Rivers wanted to do instead of spending all his time trying to mold Weezer into something the record labels were comfortable backing. In other words, it’s not safe, which is an improvement over Weezer.

“Blast Off,” written in 1993 if a YouTube entry is to be trusted, sounds like what could be called “deep-core” Weezer: the band all of the hardcore fans knew was there underneath the fathoms of music-industry murk. It’s a ghost Weezer song, finally released after its weathered and beaten-down corpus played the game for long enough to relax and dork around a little. The sound is rough-cut and un-glossed, a relief from the overly hands-on production that has plagued past Weezer albums. The lyrics, which reflect the excitement of a kid kickin’ it in his brand-new band, are surprisingly cool: “Somebody’s giving me a whole lot of money / To do what I think I wanna do... Here’s to all the times we’re gonna have.” With a robot voice singing lead for a few bars and a guitar sample from “El Scorcho” thrown into the background, its unpredictability works.

The video’s timing is good, as Weezer guitarist Brian Bell announced over the holidays that Weezer’s 6th album is finally finished. The mystery surrounding the album’s creation has made it like a Navy SEALS operation, with no information leaking through the band’s studio door. But Bell’s word sets the bar high: "Never have the four of us worked so hard and passionately on an album and we all look forward to performing this culmination of our talents and combined knowledge in 2008 in a city near you!”

Bell’s optimism, though promising, should still be taken with a grain of salt considering the band’s previous releases. The fact that Make Believe was their highest charting album doesn’t change the fact that it should never be played outside of sports bars and Hooters. However, previous articles on the band’s studio activity speak of new ideas and a different, darker approach than on previous albums. We can expect longer songs and some playing around with the vocals, including an unnamed track fronted by drummer Pat Wilson, while Cuomo sits behind the kit. That spectacle, which can also be found in some of their live video footage, shows the unseen, maniacal side of Wilson. It could go anywhere. Whether it goes into my CD player is still up in the air.
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