Weezer released "SZNZ: Spring" on March 20. courtesy Picador

Weezer’s “SZNZ: Spring” EP offers optimism

The first of four seasonal EP releases, Weezer’s “SZNZ: Spring” delivers upbeat songs inspired by Vivaldi’s “Spring” movement.

Earlier this month, Weezer announced their plan to release four EPs, each one coordinating with the change of season. The first EP of the tetralogy, “SZNZ: Spring,” released on the spring equinox, March 20. In an Instagram post, the band described the new EPs as taking inspiration from “magic, Pagan myths, religious rituals, Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons,’ Shakespeare and more (so much more).”

Weezer’s last two albums, “OK Human” and “Van Weezer,” contrasted one another greatly. “OK Human” featured an orchestra that backed up the band as they played pop-like songs inspired by the loneliness of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Van Weezer,” on the other hand, saw a return to the band’s hard-rock influences that first skyrocketed the band into the Billboard charts. “SZNZ: Spring” sees the band come back to the pop-punk genre, with an emphasis on the pop aspect.

The album opens with “Opening Night,” a song that can only be described as a pop-punk renaissance fair with its marriage of electric guitars and pan flute. Strangely enough, the opening song also takes inspiration from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” specifically the “La Primavera” or the spring section of this classic concerto, as the main melody of the song borrows its tune straight from Vivaldi. “The Opening Night” is practically a love letter to the works of William Shakespeare, referencing “Romeo and Juliet,” “Henry IV Part 1,” “Hamlet,” “Much Ado About Nothing” and “As You Like It.” Simply enough, Rivers Cuomo sings, “Shakespeare makes me happy.” Weezer takes a page from the famed wordsmith’s book as they may be the only band to skillfully rhyme “empathy” and “perspicacity.”

Next up is “Angels on Vacation,” which follows the story of two angels as they decide to take a vacation from Heaven to visit Earth for the first time. It almost feels like Rivers Cuomo has either read the novel “Good Omens” or watched the television adaptation because the plotline of the song is exceedingly similar to that of “Good Omens.” It could just be a coincidence; however, the ending of “Angels on Vacation” features a Queen-esque guitar riff — a band that is mentioned throughout Good Omens. Regardless, “Angels on Vacation” is a charmingly upbeat song that even the most stoic of individuals could not resist nodding their head along to. The cheerful tone of the song takes a break once the bridge hits with its almost melancholy music as the angels experience what seems like an existential crisis. Cuomo sings, “God won’t scold if we live our lives.” It’s nice to see that Weezer’s unique brand of telling a story within their songs is still alive and well.

Next, we have the single from the EP “A Little Bit of Love.” At its heart, this song is about how showing just a small amount of love can change the world around you. As this record has been made in “real time” (as per their Instagram), it’s easy to see the influences of the war in Ukraine and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic within the song.

Opening with chirping birds, “The Garden of Eden,” contains Biblical allusions and catchy lyrics such as “I haven’t felt this good since velcro sneakers came along.” The outro of the song offers some insight with the thought that the recirculation of life ends and begins anew in the Garden of Eden.

Next up is “The Sound of Drums,” which, at its core, is a song about meeting up with friends again after being separated from one another for so long. Jaunty and containing the use of pipes, mandolin and even a bodhràn, this song is an optimistic look at the reality of life.

“All This Love” is a beautifully simplistic song that feels reminiscent of the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love.” Sharing a similar theme with “A Little Bit of Love,” “All This Love” is about having a surplus of love stored up inside of you without having an outlet for it to go to. Cuomo candidly sings, “I got all this love that I’ve been saving up. Let me let it out.”

The final track of this seven song EP is “Wild at Heart.” Featuring crooning guitars and a galloping melody, the closing song seems to be an homage to the way spring makes us feel young again. With the renewal of the earth and blossoming flowers, spring is a time for regeneration of both body and mind. The newness of it all, inspires us to become “like we used to be…Wild at heart.”

While not all of the songs on this EP are memorable, the ones that are really are. “SZNZ: Spring” proves to be an ambitiously optimistic record, which is, perhaps, something we all need right now. The next EP is rumored to drop on the summer solstice, June 21. It will be interesting to see if all of these EPs have the same connected theme of love and renewal, especially as summer turns to fall and winter. Regardless, Weezer’s “SZNZ” EPs prove to be their most formidable project to date.

“SZNZ: Spring” is now available to stream on all major music platforms.

Post Author: Madison Walters