Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Pet Sounds

Every once in a while, just when you weren’t expecting it, a song comes along that puts a big smile on your face. It isn’t always a great work of art nor is it generally particularly clever – it’s the great galumphing, floppy-haired, tongue-flapping dog of rock that you just know is going to slobber on your best trousers and trample on the flower beds but you’ll just smile benignly and ignore it. But you wouldn’t want to give it houseroom in the long term.

Such a song is Weezer’s ‘Pork and Beans’. The UK economy maybe crap, inflation’s through the roof and we’re all going to hell in a handcart (with in-cart CD autochanger, natch) but this song has cheered me up no end. I’m playing it on my computer as I write this and I’m nodding my head and grinning like a lunatic and tapping my feet in a strangely uncoordinated way and for three minutes all is well with the world.

‘Pork and Beans’ is American rock at its best. Its structure strongly resembles ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’ with a catchy pared down verse in lull-before-the-storm acoustic mode followed by a great burst of chorus where sledgehammer guitars assault your senses and the irresistible hook has you singing along and playing air drums – or is that just me?

The thing is, I did have a bit of prior warning here. Way back in 1994, I bought a single by the self-same band called ‘Buddy Holly’ and guess what? It’s the great galumphing…etc only not quite so big and cumbersome and slightly better house trained. This song is a sort of ‘son of Pork and Beans’. It has the same genes but hasn’t quite grown up and is thus smaller and neater and doesn’t quite have the strength to frighten you with that gut-wrenching thump when the chorus kicks in. Nevertheless it is pretty nifty.

So why haven’t I bought any Weezer albums? Well, I did have a listen to the samples for ‘The Red Album’ but somehow a whole album doesn’t really do it for me. I’m not really that fond of big hairy dogs as permanent pets, I just like to giggle at their antics in the park once in a while.

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