Do you have a general sense of the 1990s? Were you there? Can you imagine the style, the slang, and the culture of the time in all its arcane glory? Is it all starting to run together now? Is the difference between Mudhoney and Mudvayne becoming less and less important now that you have a mortgage and real responsibilities?
Well, there is hope yet, Gen X’er: destroying the decades-long divide between metalheads and nerds, Weezer has shared their version of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ with the world.
Weezer, famously, are no strangers to left field cover songs. Their take on Toto’s ‘Africa’ became an out-of-nowhere hit in 2018 when a Twitter fan started a campaign for them to give a shot. That led directly to The Teal Album, which is all covers, and indulged the band’s expansive musical influences by putting The Turtles next to Black Sabbath for the first, and hopefully last, time.
The California alt-rock institution are also no strangers to metal. Band leader Rivers Cuomo is famously a Kiss fanatic: peep the lyrics of ‘In The Garage’ or the entirety of the recently released Van Weezer if you don’t believe me. He knows how to shred, but he can’t quite do it convincing because, you know, he’s Rivers Cuomo.
The band’s ‘Enter Sandman’ cover comes as part of the Blacklist album celebrating the 30th anniversary of Metallica’s The Black Album. Whether the two bands felt a connection through their shared ’90s heydays or their penchant for colour-coded albums, I’m glad they connected because Weezer’s take on ‘Enter Sandman’ is goofy as hell, and I love it.
This, I’m sure, is to Rivers Cuomo’s eternal consternation: he wants to rock hard, but everyone else just thinks it’s hilarious. It might be the lightness of his voice or his “shy librarian” look, but every time Cuomo digs his heels into his metalhead roots, it comes off as ironic and geeky. For instance, when Metallica use the term “dragon’s fire”, it conjures nightmarish medieval imagery. When Weezer uses it, it conjures Dungeons and Dragons games.
Check out the video for Weezer’s ‘Enter Sandman’ cover down below. The Metallica Blacklist is set for a September 10 release date.