Awkward & Uncomfortable
Rivers Cuomo, frontman of the rock group Weezer, and Scott Murphy of pop punk band Allister have come together in スコット と リバース (Scott and Rivers), the debut album for their two-piece of the same name, to perform Japanese language, with the occasional English chorus, in power-pop style and it all just feels a bit off. While this is not Scott Murphy’s first foray into J-pop, two white guys singing in Japanese is all but guaranteed to be an awkward, off-putting flop and that’s what they’ve given us. Their pop “punk” backgrounds and whiny voices don’t fit the sound they seem to be going for, and while it’s possible that they could mature into their sound, at the rate they’re going that’s probably unlikely.
Scott & Rivers opens with the track “Break Free,” one of the first singles from the record, which has combined cheesy, television-commercial keyboards and a completely unoriginal vocal style that sets the lackluster tone for the rest of the album. “おかしいやつ”” just sounds like a Weezer song that’s been turned into a Japanese language karaoke track. It’s not exactly a great mix, and that disjointedness follows Scott & Rivers all the way to the final song, “君と二人で.”
It’s possible that fans of Allister, Weezer and Rivers Cuomo in general may actually really like this record, since it just sounds like the singers of both of those bands putting their own music alongside Japanese lyrics, but anyone who’s not interested in that uncomfortable combination would do best to steer away. It’s not clear if Scott & Rivers is to be a permanent side project, but considering their success in Japan and elsewhere so far, and their dwindling relevance of their other bands, they could be around for a while– and they might want to work on making their sound blend a little bit more if they want any longevity.