weezer

Weezer’s fourth EP of 2022 gives a soundtrack to the seasonal slump that the short, dark days of winter bring. 

Though not destined for the popularity of their earlier music, the “SZNS” project, and most notably “Winter” as the strongest of the four EPs, demonstrates a culmination of Weezer’s musical journey that is admirable in concept, if less so in execution. 

The opening song, “I Want A Dog,” is the catchiest of the seven and establishes the tone of the season as one of loneliness and longing. The piece is more acoustic than Weezer typically leans, opening with finger-picked guitar and then introducing orchestral strings for a fuller sound. 

Though not historically characteristic of Weezer, this increased acoustic, rather than electric, sound is consistent with the band’s nods to classical music throughout the other three “SZNS” EPs. Based loosely on Vivaldi’s violin concertos “The Four Seasons,” the project makes regular use of instrumental motifs and lyrical references to virtues of classical music and formal poetry.  

The second track, “Iambic Pentameter,” is the most interesting — if somewhat disappointing — homage to formalization, as it conveys a desire for structure that will help communicate complex and abstract emotions. It desperately searches for tools to make itself understood and finds them in the rhythmic structure of iambic pentameter, one of the most common meters in traditional English poetry and a favorite of Shakespeare’s. 

While the mania and desperation of the song fit perfectly into the tone of the EP as a whole, “Iambic Pentameter” ultimately turns into another one of many heavy-handed flexes of frontman Rivers Cuomo’s Harvard English degree throughout the project. On top of the missed opportunity to actually include iambic pentameter, the song has several harsh and disjointed transitions that give the impression of sloppily combining the best melodies from several songs that didn’t make the cut into a single track, with the execution ultimately falling short of concept.

Other tracks include tastes of different eras of the band’s, with “Basketball” bringing the angst reminiscent of classic Weezer. “The One That Got Away” and “Dark Enough To See the Stars” both make use of similar nostalgia and angst, but lean into more interesting melodies, rhythms and sound qualities while paying the price of occasional disjointedness. 

The closing track, “The Deep and Dreamless Sleep,” is the most characteristic of winter’s oppressive effect on emotion, embodying the feeling of coping without confronting each and every day to get through the season.

The final instrumentation is epic, amassing moments and melodic motifs from throughout the previous tracks and culminating in a Vivaldi-and-Queen-esque finale. 

Despite being on the back side of the winter solstice, the weeks of dark, cold days ahead of us encourage nostalgia and reflection and memory that easily become all-consuming. “Winter” encapsulates the fear, monotony and loneliness of those weeks without too much forced wintery imagery.

In compiling the “SZNS” album, the band opted to include “Winter” at the beginning rather than the end despite it being the last EP released. This choice, given the tone of the EP, serves the album as a whole by avoiding closing on the hopelessness of “Winter.” 

It would be valid to argue 2022 was a year of a little too much Weezer. And yet, it’s somewhat heartening to see established bands such as Weezer and artists such as Cuomo continue to develop and innovate despite their displacement from the throne of the mainstream. 

Assistant Culture Editor

I am a third-year studying English Rhetoric & Professional Writing. I started writing for Technician as a correspondent in January 2021 and became a staff writer in November 2021. I currently serve as the assistant culture editor.