“California Snow,” the new Weezer song from the Spell soundtrack, begins with a deluge of shimmering keyboards and a massive surge of synth bass that’s just begging for an EDM drop. It appears Rivers Cuomo is back to his old crossover ambitions — and with Weezer’s “Africa” cover getting rotation on top 40 stations, I guess this is as good a time as any for some craven attempt to replicate Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots.
But man, it’s a disrespect to Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots to suggest they’d ever open a song with the lyrics, “Walk soft with a big stick/ I love playing guitar, it’s sick/ This is the definition of flow/ Nobody cold as this.” And yet, there he is, 48-year-old white ur-geek Rivers Cuomo, telling you his flow is sick while riding a tidal wave of electro-rock production. The song, which appears during comedy/drama/thriller Spell’s closing credits, is also accompanied by a campaign promoting the fictional Rivers Haskell Family Therapy, billboard, website, and all. It’s kind of a head-scratcher — both the marketing and the music itself.
I’ll give him this: “California Snow” is as catchy as any Weezer song on record. The hook, “California snow/ Never let me go,” is a monster. And by the time the third verse drops in — Cuomo sing-rapping, “C’mon Judas, gimme a kiss/ I can’t take no more of this,” pianos plinking, low-end rising triumphantly from below, searing lead guitar splitting the difference between “The Blue Album” and The Chronic — I have to admit I find myself acclimated to this latest bizarre stab at ubiquity. I am on record arguing that we should stop trying to force Weezer to be the band they were in the ’90s, although at the time I was defending a much more tasteful set of pop songs than this. Does that mean you should like this? Certainly not; you do you. I guess I’m just saying let Rivers do Rivers too.
Check out “California Snow” below.
Actual billboard up in LA! What does it mean?!?! Check it out and let us know! https://t.co/prO1VGdygs Thanks to @pedroazevedo for being the MAN on the street! #weareweezer #weezer @rivers_cuomo #riverscuomo #rivershaskellfamilytherapy pic.twitter.com/HRkgxwxGqP
— We Are Weezer (@WeAreWeezer) September 11, 2018