Weezer The Blue Album (DCG) We can only wonder what the people at Harvard thought of all the fuss. By the time Weezer's debut had started to make waves around the world, the band's founder and chief songwriter, Rivers Cuomo, had already decided to walk away from the music industry for a while and pick up his studies at the university. Cuomo had become part of the Los Angeles live scene after moving there to attend college as the 1980s drew to a close. He had formed Weezer, playing guitar and assuming vocal duties in front of Matt Sharp on bass and Patrick Wilson on guitar, and had developed his taste for post-punk into something entirely different. Cuomo's brand of geek-rock proved an antidote to the darker moods being peddled by the likes of Nirvana and their grunge buddies. That band's enormous success had turned the record moguls' eyes towards the indie music scene - and Weezer were among the scores of groups given contracts as labels searched for the next big thing. Weezer had a few things working in their favour. The band's self-titled debut - later to be known as The Blue Album - was put in the hands of producer Ric Ocasek, one-time singer/guitarist with the Cars and a man who knew how to pump out radio-friendly hits. And - in the heyday of MTV - they decided to use a young filmmaker named Spike Jonze to direct their videos. Guitarist Brian Bell was drafted in and the boys set to work on a collection of Cuomo's quirky, power chord-driven tales. His lyrics reflected dorkdom writ large, name-checking TV shows and all-manner of schoolboy obsessions. And the hooks were irresistible. The critics - and the grunge-heads - were not amused, claiming the band's motives were more cynical than honest, a marketing ploy to tap into the rise of the slacker generation. But sales soared past multi-platinum and Jonze's work on the first two singles - Undone (The Sweater Song) and Buddy Holly - was inspired. Buddy Holly - as catchy as it is cool - remains one of the high marks of the music video genre, with Jonze cutting the band into an episode of vintage TV sitcom Happy Days and making sure that their talents found an audience across the globe. By the time the third single, Say It Ain't So, had been released, Cuomo had retreated back to Harvard, running from all the attention. But he had captured an audience, creating a musical in-crowd for all the outsiders, if you will. When Weezer returned two years later, the hooks were still there but their music had taken on a darker edge. And although the band have rarely disappointed since, The Blue Album remains their most fully realised work, as astonishingly fresh and entertaining as it was when it first hit the airwaves.