Before reading this, you have to understand the context in which I listened to the first of three EPs to be released this year by The Rentals. I had just heard that Blink 182 and Weezer might tour together this summer, which got the 16 year old in me very excited indeed. Twitters and tweetings from Mark Hoppus has me thinking that Blink isn't going to try and reinvent itself, and that they're just going to play the simple punk rock that they started out with. (Case in point: he was not feeling "I'm Feeling This" but excited to practice "Don't Leave Me".) I hope they still use masking tape to spell dirty words on their amps, too. Let's not pretend we're all above this, ten years later.
Weezer's music, on the other hand, has become like honey to a beehive full of douchebags. I'd have a hard time swallowing the high ticket prices for this tour knowing it's going to put gas in Rivarz's party bus.
And here we arrive at this morning, when I heard Mr. Matthew Sharp's voice and thought: Thank you, sir, for creating music that doesn't require the word "kids" to be sung as "kee-yaaads". The Story of a Thousand Seasons Past is a cute little four-song EP that The Rentals are streaming on the Songs About Time website. The word "cute" describes exactly how I feel about it, in the same way that you'd say someone is cute instead of hot. The 90's Rentals were hot. There was a sultriness back then, an energy, that's lacking now. But what it's been replaced with isn't bad by any means. My head was just stuck in the past, and I was hoping for the growling of a certain Moog keyboard.
The whole Songs About Time project (music, photos, and film) is pervaded by wonderment and curiosity about the world around them. It's like I'm a voyeur of the fresh start that they're experiencing. If I look at the non-musical elements of the project, I find myself getting sucked in. Through the lens of their camera, I'm seeing the world through someone else's eyes. There's an escapist element to Songs About Time that reminds me of their past songs set in exotic places (Must Be Wrong, Overlee). Unfortunately, you need to take in the photos and films in order to get there, because the music so far doesn't do it on its own.
You can stream or purchase The Story of a Thousand Seasons Past in The Rentals online store.