♫♪  The Relationship - “Oh Allen”

Just as Pace Gallery would never have given a solo show to anyone proposing to recreate Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills had that person not been James Franco, so The Relationship’s “Oh Allen” would never have gotten a second thought had a member of a famous rock band not been involved. In fact, the only thing separating this from any of the other tens of thousands of power pop all-male four-pieces (including both my high school band and Weezer itself) is the fact that this one contains an actual real-life Weezer member.

Brian Bell, whom you might remember from the poster on your bedroom wall as a teenager, has a side project called The Relationship. Their latest song “Oh Allen,” out soon on Burger Records as a 7”, sounds, unsurprisingly, a lot like contemporary Weezer. Power chords, obligatory solos, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, two choruses, and that’s a wrap.

This lyric from the song sums it up entirely: “Fight the good fight, stay the same.” The Relationship would argue that some sort of R’n’R tradition is being kept alive by churning out this sort of redundant drivel, but what’s displayed here isn’t any more alive than a zombie - walking just like a person, making sounds just like a person, but in reality already dead. Is fighting the good fight finding a successful pop song formula and sticking with it for over two decades? Or perhaps trying something new…?

Had this been released via Burger’s subsidiary Weiner Records, where you can just give the label owners money and they’ll press your album up and hype it for you no questions asked, you could at least chalk it up to Burger HQ trying to pay the bills. But the fact that it’s released through Burger implies that either they knew that they’d be able to unload a pressing’s worth of these pretty easily based on name recognition alone at a decent profit, or they genuinely think “Oh Allen” is worth making available to the world - and neither is a good look for Burger.

In the near future, we won’t even need humans to make tracks like this, because we’ll have apps where you can just click “Generate Power Pop Anthem” and a three minute tune with about this much value will pop out. For those of you looking to experience all the bland power chord chugging of post-Maladroit Weezer without any of the nostalgic sing-along value, look no further than The Relationship’s “Oh Allen.”

• Burger Records: http://www.burgerrecords.org

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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