Rivers Cuomo was just your average metal kid growing up in a hippie commune, when he turned 18 and, like a siren, L.A. beckoned. Cuomo left the warm patchouli-scented bosom of his family and struck out in search of rock stardom with the members of his first band Fury.
Fortunately, hair bands were a dime a dozen, and Fury soon got lost in the aqua net. With his musical aspirations in question, our young rock hero took a job at Tower Records, where co-workers took pity on him by drawing his attention away from the likes of Poison and Ratt to such alt-rock forerunners as Jane's Addiction and the Pixies. Armed with new influences and an ear for a catchy riff, Rivers started a new band with his roommates Matt Sharp and Pat Wilson, and they called themselves Weezer.
Cuomo and Company injected their songs with instantly memorable lyrics, Beach Boysstyle harmony, fuzzy guitars and a sense of the absurd. What their self-titled first album delivered was a sound that you'd expect from the bastard child of the Pixies and Cheap Trick. Laments over unrequited love, D&D and surfing abounded, and music journalists everywhere dubbed Weezer "geek rock."
The band followed the success of that initial offering with an unironic, stripped-down, and all around more revealing sophomore effort titled Pinkerton. Critics were quick to pan the new disc just as fans were letting it grow on them.
And grow on them it did. Not only did old fans warm to the confessional sounds of Pinkerton, but now there was a whole new sect of cardigan-wearing kids in line to hear new material. After a five-year hiatus, Weezer returned last year with the critically lauded Green Album.
Those looking for the kind of internal struggle inherent in Pinkerton were at first bewildered by the far-less-revealing turn the band had taken with its glossy new songs like "Island in the Sun" and "Hash Pipe."
Less then a month after the Green Album's release, Weezer made a whole new album's worth of demos available on their Web site. This move caused some obvious friction between the band and their label but, all in all, created huge buzz for the band's latest offering, Maladroit, an album that suggests a joining of Pinkerton's reflective personality and their first album's guitar-hook obsession.
Despite becoming more prolific in the studio, Weezer has not lost sight of the importance of touring. They routinely turn in a live show that's equal parts sing-along and workout. See what I mean when they bring the show to the City Auditorium next Wednesday.
-- Brandon Laney
Weezer with Pete Yorn
City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St.
Wednesday, May 8, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $27.50. Call 520-9090.