In an era where the majority of rock stars aren't very interesting, there's much to like about the kookiness of Rivers Cuomo.
Having apparently lived in a wardrobe for weeks on end; sold all his possessions bar a guitar to buy a one-room basement flat; left rock 'n' roll for a degree at Harvard, and gone on sex binges followed by years of abstinence, Weezer's frontman has, rightly or wrongly, garnered a reputation as rock's weirdo.
Something of a hesitant rock star, it is peculiar then that Cuomo has now decided to raid his near 20-year collection of demo recordings and allowed us in.
Recorded between 1992 and 2007, the 18-track collection is more a curiosity for Weezer fans than anything else with the quality of a lot of the recordings questionable. With many, it's easy to see why they haven't made it on to Weezer albums, while others point to Cuomo's sometime desire to experiment outside of Weezer's structured sound and flirt with other genres.
'This Is The Way', one of the more recent demos, was apparently considered as a lead single for the band's forthcoming album and is one of the more experimental sounding tracks here in that it has a sleazy hip-hop feel to it. You can picture bling, gold and black rappers with Cuomo looking odd and out-of-place somewhere in-between.
Cuomo's geek-eyed sensitivity flows to the core on tracks like 'Wanda (You're My Only Love)', which was intended to soundtrack the movie 'Angus', and the excellent 'Chess' and 'Longtime Sunshine'.
'Blast Off', however, is the standout track and one which would feel at home on any Weezer album.
Recorded as part of the band's second album sessions, Cuomo had intended to release a "space-voyage rock-opera" entitled 'Songs from the Blackhole', and indeed many of the songs here were intended for that work.
Hardcore Weezer fans will be familiar with these tracks, along with much of 'Alone'. Many of the songs have previously cropped up online, along with a host of other less focussed demos.
One of the best things about the record, however, is Cuomo's sleeve notes. The songwriter openly describes how each track came about and what was going on in his life at the time.
It's an engaging companion to the 18-tracks and, thankfully, 'Alone' doesn't look like being the only road into the workings of Cuomo's creative mind. He's currently looking on a publisher for his memoirs – now that should prove fascinating.