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Diamond Rings

Back in 2005, on the eve of Make Believe‘s release, guitarist Brian Bell remarked that the record’s second track, “Perfect Situation,” sounded like “Green Plus” to him. He was right — I can hear some traces of Green in “Situation” (namely its reuse of the opening bars from “Simple Pages,” more or less verbatim), and it’s a little more thoroughly arranged and lively than the majority of that album — but I think the term could also apply to “Diamond Rings.”

For one, the timing is right — Weezer performed it in December of 2001, in support of Green‘s release earlier that year (although Scott Shriner had already replaced that album’s bassist, Mikey Welsh), so it makes sense he was still playing with the album’s central formula. The COR reveals that it was written somewhat shortly after Green b-side “I Do,” although in-between that song and this one, Cuomo appeared to already be deep into the songwriting for Maladroit (having already churned out “December” and “Burndt Jamb“). It’s maybe a shame this song was never released, as it would have been an obvious bridge between Green and Maladroit, and, conveniently, a fine first track (Cuomo may have thought so at one point, as well: The Red Album‘s inferior opener, “Troublemaker,” seems to revisit the “Diamond Rings” riff).

The song’s lyrics are a relic of both eras’ recyclable mad libs: the bridge has the same “take control” imperative as the Maladroit song of the same name (written just nine songs before “Diamond Rings”), and the second verse references “digging [Cuomo’s] sound,” as does Maladroit‘s “Fall Together” (Green‘s “Simple Pages” also references “[Cuomo’s] sound,” the digging thereof left implicit). There’s also a repeated appeal to “let me go,” a familiar inersion inversion of Green‘s opening “Don’t Let Go.”

We only have a semi-official audience bootleg of that late 2001 performance, but the Recording History indicates “Diamond Rings” was attempted for the earliest Maladroit sessions, at the August/September 2001 SnS Demos, then attempted over a dozen times during the Steak House/Cello demos later that year. It was also played at the fabled HBO Reverb show, under Weezer’s alter ego name, Goat Punishment, but was sadly not one of the songs that made the official broadcast. November 2001’s demo sequence of the album even had “Diamond Rings” as track 7. But by the time of March 2002’s Early Album 5 demos (which in fact predated Maladroit‘s release), the song had been forgotten.

13 Comments

  1. Art Vandelay wrote:

    “why does the event staff wear rubber gloves?”

    I remember liking this one back when the bootleg first circulated… I suppose it was only in comparison to the rest of the new material I was less than thrilled with, because I got bored of it pretty quickly. I think at the time I was impressed that the guitar solo was put together relatively well and didn’t restate the verse melody.

    It’s got the same boring, disinterested vocal delivery of that time period, but the melody at least has enough tension and release to make it a cut above some of the tracks that ended up on Mala-shite.

    It’s interesting to have a reason to revisit all these obscure tunes I’ve forgotten about. Well done, sir.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 7:56 pm | Permalink
  2. Running Monk wrote:

    i find this to be one of the more (if not most) forgettable Weezer tunes. i’ve never cared for it. perhaps that’s because we only have a audience recording and not an actual soundboard like all of the other tracks officially released from the Extended Hyper Midget Tour. i don’t believe this was actual officially released. the recording history doesn’t make it seem so.

    Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 4:38 am | Permalink
  3. PeeGrinder wrote:

    I still don’t understand how Troublemaker is supposed to be a rehash of this song, the riff is slightly similar but the second chord isn’t the same and overall the similarity is lesser than that of TGL and Modern Dukes’ main riffs.

    The song isn’t entirely boring for a die-hard Weezer fan, but the melody is almost non-existent and personally I’d rather a 17-minute ambient recording of Mikey on the toilet was the album opener than this.

    It’s quite bewildering the difference of opinion amongst Weezer fans, where some seem to see some kind of greatness in the likes of this, No Way, New Joint and not some of the underatted songs from MB (Peace, Pardon Me). Bunch of weirdoes.

    Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 5:04 am | Permalink
  4. Sick Nick wrote:

    “Why does the event staff wear rubber gloves?” What are they going to do to you?”

    Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 9:04 am | Permalink
  5. Jason-From A6 Boards wrote:

    ” (Green’s “Simple Pages” also references “[Cuomo’s] sound,” but the digging thereof is left implicit) ”

    so funny.

    As i’m not all that familiar with Diamond Rings, I’m listening to it for the first time with my actual attention devoted to it. It really does sound like Troublemaker at the beginning. And it really sounds like Green and Mala mashed into one song.

    Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 11:03 am | Permalink
  6. OOS wrote:

    Just listened to this, and I like it. The melody isn’t as “in your face” as most of Green. It has a nice melancholic feel to it. Very good.

    Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink
  7. Soyrev wrote:

    There we go!

    Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  8. sandwiches wrote:

    Wow, i didnt realize this song was already discussed. One of my favorite from the era, maybe because it wasnt ran into the ground like many others that started off promising. Perhaps I was a green apologist at the time when others were freaking out about how poppy it was, but I was fine with weezer releasing catchy, lighthearted 2-3 minute pop songs. well, for awhile anyway…

    This is definitely a great bridge song between the two eras. Well put, Soy. I wouldn’t have minded maladroit nearly as much with a few more songs like Diamond Rings on it. It could have been a great song, but I feel like I say that about a lot of songs from this era. And judging how most of Maladroit turned out, chances are they would have screwed this one up. Great live version though, definitly a solid 3 Stars from me.

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 1:25 am | Permalink
  9. sandwiches wrote:

    I should note, I was always a little disappointed with the bridge of this song though, but I always told myself it was the live version sort of holding it back. wishful thinking.

    I feel a lot of maladroit demos started off with at least mildly interesting riffs or melodies, and kind of lost direction or focus with the bridges.

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 1:34 am | Permalink
  10. Soyrev wrote:

    The “take control” bridge is the beginning of Mala-era nonsense and laziness, starting to trickle into the pop/love songwriting of the Green era. It’s definitely the weak point of the song.

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 7:07 am | Permalink
  11. OOS wrote:

    I really wish that this had been released, because then we wouldn’t have Troublemaker.

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 8:48 am | Permalink
  12. OOS wrote:

    See, to me Troublemaker is everything I hate about post-pinkerton Weezer wrapped into one song. The faux-gangster attitude, the awful lyrics, the slightly annoying vocal delivery, the annoyingly simple riff, the unimaginative song structure. Diamond Rings, while not perfect, is still far better then Troublemaker, for me.

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 10:18 pm | Permalink
  13. Willy Dee wrote:

    Where can I find this at? Never heard it and want to.

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 12:19 am | Permalink

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