On March 20, Weezer released their new EP, “SZNZ: Spring.” This EP is the first in a series of four EPs set to be released by the band throughout the year with each release meant to correspond to a different season. While the concept for this set of EPs is ambitious, the music on “SZNZ: Spring” just feels like a twenty-minute slog through song after song of generic and uninteresting pop-rock.
The first track, “Opening Night,” opens with some jangly acoustic guitar playing a melody reminiscent of Antonio Vivaldi’s concerto, “Spring,” from his group of violin concertos, “The Four Seasons,” which was an influence given by the band for these four EPs. Shakespeare is another influence, and he is the main lyrical focus of the song which finds singer Rivers Cuomo using some of the worst lyrics I’ve ever heard to express how the English playwright's work makes him happy.
During the chorus, Cuomo sings, “Shakespeare makes me happy / Shakespeare makes me happy / So happy, and I'm happy to be with you.” Besides the alt-rock shift during the chorus, the song is just uninteresting. It feels like it doesn’t function well as a pop song, a classically influenced song or a praising of Shakespeare and his work.
The second track, “Angels on Vacation,” opens with a harmony of vocals singing in a church choral style backed by an organ. It was really unexpected but a welcomed surprise. Then it quickly pivots to a generic guitar based pop-rock song. The bridge that appears later in the song offers an actual change in tone from the consistently upbeat and happy one offered throughout the EP to a more melancholic one.
Along with this bridge and a brief moment on track six, “All This Love,” the EP is extremely monotone and all the music just blends together. The song ends with a guitar solo based around the choral melody from the beginning of the song.
The third track is titled “A Little Bit of Love,” and is the only single from the EP. Based around acoustic guitar, percussion and the occasional bit of melodica, the track is just plain boring. It feels like it was written for the distinct purpose of being played in a pharmacy at 4 p.m. as people aimlessly drift down the aisles in pursuit of their prescriptions and cheesy greeting cards. Honestly, I’d probably get more amusement from standing in the greeting card aisle enjoying the literature for two minutes and 44 seconds than listening to this track again.
Skipping past a few tracks, mainly consisting of the same pop-rock sound we’ve been hearing — as well as a brief foray into Christian rock on the song “Garden of Eden” — we end with track seven, “Wild at Heart.” This track is by far my favorite and one I can definitely see myself listening to in my free time. It’s a very poppy song but it doesn’t feel disingenuous or from a cookie cutter like other tracks on the EP. The orchestral nature of the chorus is beautiful and reminiscent of the band's 2020 album “OK Human.”
The song and EP end with a brief shift in music for the last few seconds to a very drum-heavy sound. If I had to wager a guess I would assume this is meant to flow into the next EP, “SZNZ: Summer,” set to release on June 20. Hopefully the subsequent EPs Weezer is planning to release this year stand out more than this one.