Weezer - SZNZ: Autumn
Sep 22, 2022 (updated 6d ago)
Autumn is the third in Weezer's SZNS EP series, and it follows Summer which was a flawed EP, but the symphonic rock and metal elements made it a more novel listen than the very bland Spring. But how would Weezer embody the season of autumn? I guess the answer is danceable 2000s alt rock and power pop a la Strokes and Franz Ferdinand that is occasionally moody. A sound which they pull off well in the intro, "Can't Dance, Don't Ask Me", where they give up the Vivaldi interpolation theme, but still write a fun catchy power pop tune that combines synths with that heavy Weezer guitar tone, and despite the kind of corny lyrics, they have the nerdy charm you'd expect from the band. The following "Get Off On The Pain"  has a similarly upbeat alt rock sound, which starts out okay until the cheesy 80s synth arrangement in the bridge which sounds like it came straight from the Stranger Things soundtrack. Though it does not take long for the real stinkers to appear.

"What Happens After You" is just pure unabashed radio pop rock writing, which sounds almost exactly like a later era Fall Out Boy song, and this one is nearly as sickening. In fact numerous parts of this song feel like they were pulled directly from "Immortals". "Francesca" is nearly as vomit inducing, though for a different reason, and that is the lyrics which Rivers claims is from the perspective of a letter written by Napoleon Bonaparte to his wife after being overthrown. And I've endured Weezer through some cringe, but the results here are just embarrassing with what is supposed to sound romantic being awkward most of the time. Plus I am confused why Rivers compares the narrator to Mahatma Gandhi, considering Gandhi was not even born until decades after Napoleon died. However, "Should She Stay Or Should She Go" is even worse, and has some of the most tepid lyricism that Rivers has ever put to tape, with him trying so hard to act tough and controlling over this girl, but it's not convincing and it is just laughable and forced.

We do get a Vivaldi interpolation on "Tastes Like Pain" even though it is the Winter movement for some reason, but still, this does lead to one of the best moments on the EP with Rivers singing over this dramatically building string arrangement, and it reaches a great climax. It's just a shame that this climax is completely ruined by Rivers' cries of self-harm and self-wallowing which should have been the most emotional moment here, but his lyrics just sound like they are trying way too hard to sound edgy, and the result is more goofy than serious. This is just Black album all over again. We get a pretty strong closer however with "Run, Raven, Run" which is perhaps the most classic Weezer power pop on the EP, but it has a great anthemic chorus with a nice post-rock type build up of guitars and syntsh in the middle section and an intense crescendo point before closing the album with a lullaby passage of the song.

The third edition in Weezer's SZNS series is not great in my opinion, though it starts and ends decent, the middle section is super weak. Even if it has the same brief runtime of the previous two, this is a similarly mixed bag of sounds and quality. I like it a bit more than Spring, but even more so than before, I don't think there is much here musically or lyrically that embodies the season of autumn to me. I just hope Weezer can at least end things off strong with Winter.

Favorite tracks: "Run, Raven, Run", "Can't Dance, Don't Ask Me"

Least favorite tracks: "What Happens After You"

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