Weezer, 2014
Emily Shur

Is this Weezer's long-awaited return to form?

Weezer has been hyping its forthcoming ninth studio album as a return to form effort, so it's no surprise that the lead single is a catchy ode to the good ol' days.

Today Weezer shared the album version of "Back to the Shack," the lead single from "Everything Will Be Alright in the End," due Sept. 30 via Republic.

Lyrically, Rivers Cuomo speaks like a veteran rock star who's taken time to reflect and emerged with a good-natured dose of self-awareness. He sings of "rocking out like it's '94," perhaps acknowledging the fact that much of his fanbase thinks he peaked in the mid-90s. He mentions settling down with his girl, making peace with his dad, and his iconic lightning bolt guitar strap, which, even still, few can pull off with such cool.

Cuomo even takes a little dig at the sagging ratings of "American Idol" and its spin-offs: "Let's turn up the radio, turn off those stupid singing shows."

The frontman does all this on top of a Ric Ocasek-produced track that features the chugging guitar chords and cozy verse-chorus-verse structure that first endeared Weezer to its wild fanbase back in the '90s. It sounds like it could be the return-to-form Weezer has been searching for, though we'll have to wait to hear the whole album before deciding if this is another "Blue," another "Green" or -- let's hope not -- another "Red Album."

While you wait for the answer, check out drummer Patrick Wilson's frisbee-catching skills.

Watch Weezer perform "Back to the Shack" onboard the Weezer Cruise earlier this year:

 

Recently, Weezer announced a new fan club and set of preorders for "Everything Will Be Alright in the End." Details are available here.