Another review I did for the now post-mortem Semplesize site.
Looking back, I may have been a bit harsh on these guys, but after another listen I stand by my assertion that they were a bit of a one trick pony!
It’s over 20 years since Weezer bought out their seminal, self-titled, power pop debut, and for this new song they’ve gone back to their roots… Oh, hang on, sorry, really???
Um, alright. Let me start again.
Van Dale wear their influences on their sleeves. Not necessarily a bad thing, but if you only have one influence it can be a bit limiting. Originally released in 2013 as track two of the (unsurprisingly) self-titled debut album, Bed of Bricks was arguably the best track on the 26 minute, long player.
Of course, Weezer have now been doing this for 23 years, they have changed, developed and, arguably, improved with age, whereas Van Dale are inextricably stuck in the quagmire of early nineties post-rock.
Not that I’m unpleased listening to this song, it brings back some fantastic memories of times gone by, but unlike In The Garage or Buddy Holly I don’t know this song like the neck of my heavily worn acoustic guitar. The recollections are false and so it leaves me with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
The amazing thing is that two of the members are also involved in Way Yes, a much more chilled out affair and, to be honest, more creative and exciting than Van Dale. Not that I want to dissuade the band from making and releasing more stuff, I’d be interested to see how this alternate reality version of the godfathers of nerd rock develops over time.
If reissuing the album is a start to getting their creative juices flowing again to make more music, then I hope they find themselves some other bands to listen to. If, however, they are just going to refabricate something from Rivers and his compatriots then there is only one way to finish.
Say It Ain’t So!