Review Summary: Another good effort by Weezer
It’s no understatement that Weezer is on the upswing of their career. After a rickety three album mid-life music slump, the band managed to blow a fraction of hope into the stopped lungs of estranged fans with their 8th studio album “Hurley.” Now, Weezer is back with “Death to False Metal” – A gritty, quirky, melodic and highly entertaining compilation of 10 songs from the band’s cutting-room floor masquerading as an LP. Yes, these are REJECTED songs from the 7 albums prior to “Hurley.”
“Death” is ugly and sad with lyrics that playfully discuss being lonely and dead inside. Every song is completely unpolished and so incredibly odd that they borderline science fiction. At times, at least for the band, the songs are too grim. Imagine if “Raditude’s” single (If You’re Wondering) went to sleep one night and had a nightmare – that nightmare would be the song I’m a Robot from “Death.” Autopilot, the record’s opener, combines a bass-heavy rock rhythm with various keyboards and strange computer tones. In it, Rivers seems to suggest that he examines feces with a microscope in his free time. Losing My Mind is another strong track that, at times, sounds uncannily like a Pink Floyd song. It’s a better version of the song Unspoken from “Hurley.” Nothing on the album could be considered weak. All ten songs will entertain fans listening for something a little darker this Halloween.
If you DO wish to consider this record an LP - and not just a collection of deleted songs from prior years - then “Death to False Metal” is the successor to “Pinkerton.” In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these songs were actually FROM “Pinkerton.” However, with the 2010 re-issue of "Pinkerton" dropping next week, I could be wrong.
Either way, this is the band’s best work.
On the down-side, because the songs are a bit abstract and autonomous, the album won’t feel as memorable. The songs are excellent, but nothing really sounds even remotely similar to the band's first three albums from the 1990s. This album is more akin to Snow Patrol’s “Songs for Polar Bears” or maybe “Sam’s Town” by the Killers. The lyrics, however, certainly resemble the band's older work.
In a weird way, it’s almost like listening to a greatest hits compilation from a band you’ve never heard.
“Death to False Metal” is Weezer’s official come-back record. After such a hideous slump with “Raditude” and the latter halves “Red” and “Make Believe,” this album dares to bring the REAL nightmare to life as its lyrics about pain and self-deprecation truly live up to what we would consider “Old Weezer.”
If records like “Raditude” and “Make Believe” are personas…That is, what Weezer decided to show to the world at that time… Then “Death to False Metal” is how the band really felt. People tend to be very resilient when it comes to honesty. However, all that this band could offer over the last 7 or 8 years was mostly experimental slop. Don’t get me wrong, I personally enjoyed a lot of it. But that whole body of work was what only THEY could relate to. None of it was accessible to us. Even though “Death” is very somber, it leaves a lot open for interpretation. The songs are interesting, multi-layered odes to heartbreak, uncertainty and apathy. It's dark in a good way. Give it a listen.