Weezer is known for chunky guitar riffs, heavy distortion, catchy hooks, and introspective and relatable lyrics. Albums like Pinkerton and The Blue Album stand the test of time as classic rock albums and have come to represent a certain sound from the 90’s. In recent years, Weezer has traded in their heavy riffs and blistering distortion for a more pop-centric approach to songwriting. The results of this new sound can be found on the group’s upcoming album, Pacific Daydream, highlighted by four previously released tracks—”Feels Like Summer”, “Mexican Fender”, “Beach Boys”, and “Weekend Woman”. Today, the band has released a new single “Happy Hour,” which was just revealed by Rolling Stone.
On “Happy Hour,” Weezer trades in their guitars for an organ-centric song with a bouncy and electronically aided drumbeat. Plus, the tune’s familiar melodies, rhythms, and layers of production seem more in line with Jack Antonoff and Bleachers than your typical Weezer song. The song is certainly a departure from the band’s signature sound, however, in the end, “Happy Hour” is a good and acceptable pop song.
Frontman and songwriter Rivers Cuomo discussed this departure in an interview with Zane Lowe from Beats 1. He explained, “[W]e really challenged ourselves to leave behind the Nineties distorted guitar, downstroke eighth note thing and try to see what else we can do.” For “Happy Hour” itself, he described that he was “walking around town and I’m seeing these signs, ‘Happy Hour, come in and join the party, have fun,’ and just wishing I could be part of this. … It’s not so much about the drinking, it’s about the companionship, and the society, and feeling like I don’t have that and I’m never gonna fit in.”
Weezer’s new album Pacific Daydream will be out in stores and on streaming services on Friday, October 27th.