Excuse me for starting this review off with a rather unimportant thought, but I just want to point out how totally coherent this release comes along. A label called Lame-O Records releasing an EP with the ridiculous title The World Is a Terrible Place and I Hate Myself and I Want to Die by a band named The Weaks with tracks like “Dunce Pageant” and “How to Put an Audience to Sleep In Under Two Minutes”?! I mean, with all that laid out, I can’t be the only one who expects nothing short of a messy and boisterous punk record whose silliness is only surpassed by its cloying hooks and happy-go-lucky attitude. Plus the RIYL section has sweet names like Weezer and The Ergs! so this just has to be awesome. Well sure, the title is slightly terrible but it’s a reference to Topshelf’s emo darlings The World Is a Beautiful Place.. as well as to the Nirvana song “I Hate Myself and Want to Die” so that evens it out a bit, I guess. Anyway, I’ve made myself high expectations for this, so The Weaks better bring it.
Opening up with the sluggish chords of “Nightswimming at the Full Moon Party”, I wasn’t too sure about the presumed hooks and fun and whatnot, but 15 minutes later, I was satisfied. All six songs on this debut EP have proven to be short and sweet jams that range somewhere between power-pop, punk and pop-rock, with a big fat ’90s zeitgeist hovering over those classic rock guitar solos and cheeky dual vocals. The Weaks’ love and homage to the golden decade is a big part of the prevalent vibe on this record, and I mean that in the best way possible.
The midtempo rocker “To Thine Own Self Be True” for example wears its Weezer heart glaringly obvious on its sleeve, with restrained power chords giving way to some slick guitar licks and bends while the refrain hits every point on the How-to-make-my-chorus-as-catchy-and-sing-a-long-able-as-possible checklist. “How to Put an Audience to Sleep In Under Two Minutes” on the other hand is a fast-paced pop-punk tune with blistering guitar riffs and a rumbling bass a la Jawbreaker, whereas the little “Uh–La–La” a-capella-style sing-song in the last half of “Instantaneous Vertical Speed” is just plain retro and entertaining.
Yes, The World is a Terrible Place is a messy (well, slightly) and boisterous record which greatly succeeds in combing some cool influences into a compact package of songs that is fun and remarkably diversified, balancing dynamically on the blurred line between punk and pop. Each track brings something new to the table and hints at something greater to come in the future, something that should be even more energetic, exuberant and nostalgic. And I’m definitely looking forward to it.