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Sound Check

10/22/2014

WeeerWeezer

“Everything Will Be Alright In The End”

Republic

Rivers Cuomo is the kind of guy who jerks off while standing in front of the mirror. The Weezer front man has a long history of self-referential work, with varying degrees of success. Top of the mountain would be the band’s “The Blue Album”/“Pinkerton” glory days, but that’s a long time gone for Weezer. Most of the early 2000s were forgettable, so “Everything” is Weezer’s attempt at pretending that most of the decade never happened. The album is clearly drawing your attention to The Blue Album as much as possible — Rick Ocasek is back to produce — and lead single “Back to the Shack” is not so much a statement of where Weezer is as a band, so much as a reminder of what got them here. At their best, Weezer is pretty damn good. And there are flashes of that deeper in this album, but it’s kind of sad to think of a band this good as hitting their “nostalgia act” stage. CV

Shaman’s HarvestShaman's Harvest

HIV

“Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns”

Mascot Records

Opening track (and lead single) “Dangerous” is a hard, heavy, roaring crotch rocket of a song. If Shaman’s Harvest had turned in a dozen more songs just like it, then “Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns” would have been an unqualified success. Sure, you could have written it off as dumb and simple, but it would have been fun and kind of badass, and it would have been fine. But, flying in the face of what you’d expect from a band with a song titled “Country as Fuck,” Shaman’s Harvest wasn’t content to just be a Nickleback knock-off. “Smokin’ Hearts…” sees the Missouri five-piece pushing its sound into new quarters. Some of it really works (“Hero”, the previously mentioned “Country as Fuck”), while some of it falls a little flat (“The End of Me” is CD-quality Ambien), but at every turn Shaman’s Harvest is showing itself as a band that’s not content to settle. CV

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