Weezer: End of the SZNZ, end of an era

Weezer: End of the SZNZ, end of an era


Famous Alternative Rock and Power Pop band Weezer just released the fourth and final EP in their ‘SZNZ’ series. “SZNZ: Winter” is the culmination of everything the series of EPs was building to, while in my opinion being significantly better than the others.

The EP starts with the lead single and most accessible track “I Want a Dog” The lyrics work as both wishing for a literal dog and wanting something to comfort the protagonist, playing into the main lyrical theme of the EP, sadness and longing. It’s important to note the variation in the instrumental as well, through emotional strings to soaring guitar solos into acoustic softness, a very significant amount of territory is explored in this song.

The second track “Iambic Pentameter,” lyrically is a bunch of literary references compressed in as tight a space as possible. This is not a bad thing however, it comes off as charming for the most part. Sonically the song almost goes in a Progressive Rock direction which is something very new for the band with multiple varying instrumental sections eventually coming back into the chorus for the end. While I admire the creativity of this track I feel that many of the changes in instrumentation are too sudden and lead to a jarring listening experience.

My personal favorite track, “Basketball” sees a boy longing for someone to play basketball with as he “can’t throw this basketball into my own arms!” This song sounds very similar to their usual writing methods. I do think the interpolation of the Gavotte from Bach’s Cello Suite No.6 in the chorus to be a very interesting choice.

The next song is an interpolation of “Adagio in G minor” by Tomaso Albinoni. “Sheraton Commander” sees Rivers Cuomo being nostalgic for his time at Harvard and referencing many places in the area in a very poetic fashion. This is possibly the least interesting track on the EP as it is literally just a piece of classical music chopped around and sung over.

“Dark Enough to See the Stars” is the most direct song lyrically, talking about being lonely. It incorporates a harmonica, mostly for nostalgic reasons for fans of their first album, I do think it works really well here though.

The penultimate song “The One That Got Away” is a very interesting track, what was originally a soft and acoustic song in the leaked demos for SZNZ: Winter”, turned into a rocked out anthem about reminiscing on a lover. I surprisingly prefer this version of the song significantly more, it feels very classic Weezer without trying to be, which is a shortcoming that many Weezer albums have had in the past.

The final track is possibly one of the darkest tracks Weezer has ever written, after their album “Pinkerton” at least. It speaks about intense depression and anxiety while also literally dying. The bridge enters a calm soft space leading back into an intense and crushing chorus leading into what is essentially a two minute guitar solo, incorporating melodies from other songs in the ‘SZNZ’ series such as “Run, Raven, Run” and “Thank You and Good Night” leading to a beautiful finale reminding me of “Foolish Father” from another Weezer record “Everything Will Be Alright In the End.”

While in my opinion, the ‘SZNZ’ project tries a little too hard into trying to be varied and interesting, leading to jarring sections and confusing lyrics, “SZNZ: Winter” both pulls these different sections and lyrics off while acting as an enjoyable listening experience and amazing conclusion to this era of Weezer.