• Geffen/Interscope

Formulaic rock 'n' roll can be very boring, but as Weezer's figured out, there are some formulas that work.

In other words, get in and get out in less than three minutes, hang your hat on the hook, and kick out the jams. That's what Rivers Cuomo and company proclaim on Maladroit, a collection of tightly packed songs with pop hooks and buzzing guitars to spare.

There's a clear focus here as the band blasts through radio friendly tracks like the Free-meets-Badfinger lead single “Dope Nose,” the relentless guitar riffs and anger of “Slob,” and the wonderfully rhythmic “Burndt Jamb,” which grabs a groove reminiscent of George Benson's “Breezin',” then tears it in two with blistering guitars.

When they take the totally torrid approach (“Space Rock”) they lay the layers on a bit too thick, yet even with all the noise on that song and others such as “Slave” and “Fall Together,” Cuomo still holds the melody high. That's straight-shooting songwriting and it's what stirs this set from start to finish.

Kevin O'Hare

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