Pork and Beans: Tasty Comfort Riffs from Weezer

Check out that moustache partners … Rivers Cuomo is saddled up and ready to ride again! He may have a Harvard degree now, but Rivers isn’t singing about nouvelle cuisine … it’s Pork and Beans, baby. The new single from Weezer is everything long-time fans could hope for. Simple, but clever … pop rock friendly, but with a nice alt-crunch underneath. After the disappointment of their last album, “Make Believe” it looks like we’re back on firm ground again.

Maybe it’s the color thing. The next release will be self-titled, like two others … this one will be red, joining blue and green. Primary hues tend to bode well for Weezer. The Blue album dates back to 1994 and has earned classic status. It’s crammed with not just good, but great songs … My Name Is Jonas, Buddy Holly, Undone (The Sweater Song), Say It Ain’t So, In The Garage. Awesome.

The Green CD, put the band back on the map in 2000. It was tight, catchy and brandished a little ‘tude as well. Sweet, with songs like Don’t Let Go and Island in the Sun … but snarky with Hash Pipe and Crab.

In between the colors came “Pinkerton”, “Maladroit”, and “Make Believe.” “Pinkerton” is in a class by itself … arguably the best of all Weezer albums. It’s so wrenchingly personal that it can be draining, but Rivers opens up in that one like nowhere else … it’s just not as much fun as the colors.

So let’s get back to the table and talk about Pork and Beans. Like the dish it celebrates, Pork and Beans isn’t out to impress, but it sure does satisfy. Rivers is basically restating that he’s happy being uncool … ’cause, seriously what’s cooler these days than being uncool! He’s not gonna wear the clothes that are hip (see album cover at top of article) … he’s not gonna write the kind of songs that sell these days … he’s just gonna do his thing. I don’t care if your 15 or 50, who can’t relate to that! Best of all, it’s all wrapped around a chorus that you can’t help singing to the rafters … I’mma do the things that I wanna do, I ain’t got a thing to prove to you/I’ll eat my candy with the pork and beans, excuse my manners if I make a scene.

Yeah, so it’s not exactly Conor Oberst at work, but hey that’s alright with me. I need a little comfort food now and then. So will the rest of Red be as good as Pork and Beans? We won’t know ’til the end of June, but I’ll be picking this one up on release day (June 24).

I know Rivers can be a bit of a trial for his fans, and his band mates too, but he can uncork a vintage piece of rock and roll like few others. It’s great to have him back in top form … and expect to see a lot of 15 and 50 years olds for the upcoming tour.


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