Leak Proof: Wavves, Radiohead, Weezer, The Flaming Lips
Weezer: "(If You Are Wondering if I Want You To) I Want You To"
If ever there was a rock star who needed to get back in touch with his lowly teenage self, it's Rivers Cuomo. Weezer's best moments were driven by nostalgia for D&D, heavy metal, and awkward romance–all things the singer has been unable/unwilling to access during the band's last three records. "(If You Are Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To," from the Weezer's as-yet-untitled seventh record, is auspiciously geeky, though. There are power pop riffs, at least one mention of a Slayer t-shirt and that's enough to fuel the faint hope that Cuomo's nerd-mojo has been reignited.
Radiohead: "These Are My Twisted Words"
So, the blogs were wrong. Who would have thought? Instead of a new Radiohead EPall we get are some nasty words and an official release of "These Are My Twisted Words," a song that the band leaked last week onto a fan-operated message board. Hey, that's better than nothing. And it's not like "Twisted Words" is some sort of tossed off b-side, either. This is Radiohead at its jammiest, with hypnotic guitar arpeggios morphing together for over five minutes as if Johnny Marr were paying homage to Meddle-era Pink Floyd.
Wavves: "Cool Jumper"
San Diego-based scuzz-pop prodigy Nathan Williams has had his name floating all over the blogosphere recently, largely due to a drug-fueled mid-concert meltdown. There's a better, more productive way, to maintain that hype level, though: release good music. "Cool Jumper" finds Williams doing just that. The chords/grit/drums formula that drives Wavves songs is cleverly expanded using Hella drummer Zach Hill to drop in jarring off time fills over Williams' bubblegum "ooohs" and "ahhs."
The Flaming Lips: "See The Leaves"
For the last 10 years The Flaming Lips have been rock's leading purveyors of PMA, cutting one inspirational anthem after another. But "See The Leaves," from the band's upcoming record Embryonic, strikes a darker tone. In fact, between the song's stumbling groove and bleak outro, there's nary a confetti blasting/fist-pump-appropriate moment to be found here. "Without hope/ without love/ she sees herself from below and above," sings front man Wayne Coyne. The Flaming Lips do paranoia pretty well, though, and "See The Leaves" is no exception. It's hard to say what triggered the epic come-down, but it might not be a bad thing.