SZNZ: Winter

Jan 05, 2023
Web Exclusive

By Michelle Dalarossa


Yes, Weezer are still releasing music, and yes, SZNZ: Winter is the fourth EP that they’ve released in the last year. It’s the final addition to their 2022 run of seasonal EPs based on Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” and it closes out a hackneyed concept on a sometimes mediocre, mostly nonsensical, decidedly Weezer note.

Like its title suggests, the EP makes an attempt to incorporate elements associated with the colder months into its musical makeup, integrating moments of dewy-eyed acoustic plucking and mournful lyrics about companionship and pining into its seven tracks. The wintertime urge to get cozy with a loved one (and the wistfulness that comes with the absence of said someone) is apparent on songs like “I Want a Dog,” where frontman Rivers Cuomo elaborates on the unconditional company and affection a dog would bring him, and “The One That Got Away” where he belts out “I know it’s inappropriate but I’m sad without you/I still dream about you.” Jingle bells, chimes, and orchestral strings up the festive ante, but it’s the array of corny melodies and simplistic chord progressions that bring the kitsch of Christmas to a fever pitch on the EP.

Unfortunately, the combination of Christmas kitsch and Weezer kitsch makes for a grating mishmash of tackiness, angst, and blown-out fuzz that ultimately falls flat. There are moments when the band’s knack for ear worm vocal melodies and exhilarating power-pop guitar riffs glimmer, reminding us why they amassed generations of faithful fans in the first place, but more often than not, they become lost in restless rhythmic changes and abrupt melodic switches. “Iambic Pentameter,” for example, clocks in three significant shifts in melody, rhythm, and lyrics in a little under four minutes, and it’s this type of frenzied energy that bleeds through the entirety of SZNZ: Winter. Four EPs in one year is no easy feat, and in the end, perhaps not the best idea, either. (www.weezer.com)

Author rating: 4.5/10

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