REVIEW: The Weekend: Teaser + Bonus Level
The Weekend: Teaser + Bonus Level [Teenage USA, 2003] (mp3s)
Three words? pink rainbow crunch
This record makes it very clear. The Weekend should be on the radio. They must be on the radio. The certainty of this fact is enough to make me believe in a deterministic universe. They've stormed Japan, I'm told. They're huge in Australia. But why the hell isn't this quintet from London ON blasting 24/7 on 97.3 HITS FM, on MuchMusic or MTV or whatever it is the kids are listening to? Why haven't I heard Andrea Wasse's name, or seen her face postered on teenagers' walls? Why, pray tell, are these guys not blazing toward Top of the Pops - why can't I hear them at the mall, in the elevator, blaring from the cars waiting at red lights?
Because holy moly, is this stuff rad. Where Avril Lavigne stumbled across a vein of pop-punk gold with "Sk8er Boi," the Weekend seem to have uncovered the whole mine. Teaser + Bonus Level is cherry rock candy, Weezer on amphetamines, a concentrated slam-dunk of catchy, guitar-fuelled pop music. Electric guitars chug, churn and cheer; Wasse's vocals dip, soar and dodge; synthesized squiggles bloom and fall away, the best sort of eighties keyboard sound, bleeding madly under the lights. "Bring It On" calls for stomping and dancing and head-banging, pearly smiles at the end of a teen movie. The chorus is a trifle, a silly, brilliant nothing: "Bring it on / Make me like it / Make it worth it / Turn me on / Like a light-switch / make it worth it / Bring it on / Bring it on." High Art, it's not, but the important question is whether or not you can scream it with the windows down. Ditto for "80s Rockstar," "Perfect World," "Single," and - yes, it's a Loverboy cover - "Everybodieswerkin4theweekend." There's nothing on here to bring you down, to dim the megawattage, to cut away at the spirit and fun of space-age synthesizer bursts, juicy punk riffs, vocoder-kissed vocals. It's sassy and fierce and generous - better than that, though, it's catchy as fuck. It kicks in the face of the new Blink 182 record, shatters to pieces the bulk of Let Go. This isn't something that lives on in your heart, subtle and shifting - but damn if it isn't song after song of gorgeous, masterful noise pop.
Teaser is an EP, and Bonus Level are extra songs that have been tagged on top, or so I'm told. I don't really care. Teaser + Bonus Level is one record that suffers not-at-all for any lack of "album" cohesion: I want my three-and-a-half minute pleasures, not the overarching themes of a seventy-five minute opus. What it also suggests is that there's still an album on its way, that whatever rock'n'roll lode The Weekend has found has not yet been run dry. In other words, I can expect more of this genius. Which makes me very glad.
One day, the Weekend will play on the radio, and a new era will be upon us. We will all be happy and glad and tanned, we will rock out and go to parties and enjoy our weekends. We will stick devils'-horns into the air and make faces like we're silently screaming. We'll drink coolers and wear lip-gloss. We'll holler. And yes: we'll rejoice. Because a good song is a good song is a good song, and the Weekend are carrying a amazing, electric-melodic, catchy catchy catchy horn of plenty. Thank god. Hooray! etc.