The Classics: ‘Return of the Rentals’

The Classics are must-see, must-read, must-play works revered by The Verge staff. They offer glimpses of the future, glimpses of humanity, and a glimpse of our very souls. You should check them out.

1994 was an awesome year to be a nerd. A decade had passed since Revenge of the Nerds, and popular conceptions of awkward enthusiasts had evolved to the point where Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” video could put four cardigan-wearing squares at the top of the charts. After that, there was always another word attached to nerd: “cool,” a conflation which sent both terms into a perennially cloudy spiral of meaning. Bassist Matt Sharp took a detour from Weezer in 1995 with a side project called The Rentals. Their debut album was a humbly…

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