You aren't a Weezer fanatic if you don't have this one.
Hopefully in 10 years I can sell this EP on eBay for $500. That means I would make $493. Sweet. Nonetheless, this is probably the most valuable $7 I've spent in a long time. The Lion and the Witch EP is an EP issued by Weezer, limited to a mere 25,000 copies. In addition, it was only to be sold at independent record stores, selected by the record label, making this little collectable a heck of a lot harder to find. It is made up of 6 songs recorded at a small club in Japan during their World Cup 2002 tour.
As explained in the insert, the method for choosing songs for their set list was total randomization. This resulted in some serious cramming for bassist Scott Shriner, who had never played a bulk of the songs, such as "Falling for You", a song off Pinkerton that is rarely played at live shows. "Falling for You" is just one of the six great songs on this little EP. Joining it from the Pinkerton is the hit "El Scorcho", which features Rivers adding his own little guitar solo at the end. "Dope Nose" also appears from Weezer's latest full-length, "Maladroit", where the radio hit "Island in the Sun" originally appeared on their self-titled green album.
The Lion and the Witch also includes two songs not available on any US albums. "Death and Destruction" is a slow rocker/ballad and is featured on the UK version of Maladroit, not the US release. It does however, appear on the EP, which is an added bonus. There is also an instrumental intro to "Dope Nose" which appears to absent on any studio albums, so that's two songs you won't find anywhere but here. Both songs are good too. While live versions of these classic songs may not be as good as the original studio versions, Weezer is great live band. On the contrary, you will hear a few minor notes off key, whether it is the backing vocals, Rivers, or the guitar players, most notably on "Island in the Sun" and "Falling for You". The performance isn't perfect, but I'm sure the diehard Weezer fans out there will be more than pleased. Rivers' solo is especially rocking on "Dope Nose".
There are a few disappointments in the release however. They censor Rivers' saying a four-letter word, which is rather annoying, but more annoying is how the album just cuts off. After "Holiday", the disc abruptly ends, when there should actually 30 more seconds of speech. The full version is available at www.weezer.com. On a high note, the insert is full of fan letters and tour stories that are most entertaining and informative. Overall, The Lion and the Witch will appeal only to diehard fans, yet is a fitting reward for the fans that made the band famous in the first place. You can't call yourself a Weezer fanatic if you don't own this piece of history.