Now, less than a year later, the band is back, seemingly out to make up for lost time. Instead, Weezer makes up for its status as second-generation emo forebears by infusing its songs with all the muscle and might that its maudlin offspring the Get Up Kids and Saves the Day lack. Some critics piled on Weezer for how detached its last album was, but after the emotional overload that is the Vagrant Records roster and the suffocating narcissism of nü metal, a bit of lyrical capriciousness is a relief.
And balancing the earnest with the off-handed has become Weezer's forte. "Dope Nose" is a bitchin' rock missive whose Joey Lawrence-esque "whoas" are as addictive as the song's subject matter. "Keep Fishin'" is Green Day's "Longview" as sung by the Hollies. Countered by the emotionally cauterized "Death and Destruction" and the pretty, pleading "Slave," it all makes for a breath of fresh despair.