This Friday night, if you’re not too busy drinking at one of the same three bars you frequent, or if you choose to stop worrying about that dude or chick not texting you back, you might want to go see The Rentals at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
“Who are The Rentals?” you might ask, being that much of what America listens to today is bleep-bloop electronica and swag-centric rap music of the trillest proportions.
I would counter your question with a snarky, yet totally apt rebuttal: “Have you heard of Weezer?” I would ask.
I’d ask this because The Rentals are fronted by Matt Sharp, Weezer’s original bass player, and the man was a big part of every worthwhile thing Rivers Cuomo and company ever did, those being everything on Weezer’s self titled “Blue Album” and Pinkerton.
When you gloss over Weezer’s first two records, both of which are markedly different but equally emblematic of the 90’s alt rock canon, you hear falsetto backing vocals and big, pummeling bass tones courtesy of Matt sharp. There’s also a whimsical sensibility prevalent on those first two records, much of which, as the folklore maintains, was the byproduct of Sharp honing in Cuomo’s bleeding-heart tendencies.
Turbulent band histories aside, the point is that The Rentals take much of what was quirky, goofy and weirdly danceable about early Weezer and exploit those musical elements with synths, violins and Sharp’s wounded lyrics. They also employ lots of the devices that made early Weezer actually interesting, like build-ups and a focus on musical texture as opposed to snappy choruses that sell records.
So the next time you’re celebrating “The Sweater Song,” or feeling the hurt of “Only in Dreams” or “Across the Sea,” think of Sharp. Or better yet, go see The Rentals tomorrow night. It’ll be a good time.
Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th St, Brooklyn, NY, 11211
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