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Well, here’s one I never think about.

That’s usually a bad sign when it comes to Early Album 5 songs — if I don’t remember one of the countless full-band demos Weezer was spewing on a weekly basis during this time and the Maladroit sessions just before it, I’ve probably forgotten it for a reason.

On first revisitation for this post, I thought “Sacrifice” might pleasantly surprise me — the extended instrumental intro is airy and contemplative, with a nice climactic build. In that way, it reminds me a bit of “The Dawn,” another product from the ridiculously prolific (and largely garbage) period of 2001/2002. But much like “The Dawn,” it falls apart when the vocals enter.

The lyrics are the trite throwaway fare du jour (markedly of the Early Album 5 period, since we can begin to hear Rivers Cuomo making the transition from generic nonsense-nonsense to generic lovesong-nonsense), but the real problem is the vocal melody. Something about it just sounds so gratingly obvious and boring, like it simply has to be stolen from some classic rock staple or another. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but considering half of that year’s Maladroit was blatantly grifted from one classic source or another, it’s a safe enough bet.

That’s not the whole story here, though: something strange happens in the middle, and I guess we’ll call it a bridge. It’s so unexpected and apropos of nothing that it feels like another song altogether — Pat Wilson does a simple drum roll, and all of a sudden Scott Shriner is slicking his fingers up and down the bass neck like he’s doing live smooth-jazz Muzak inside a Macy’s, while Cuomo peeks into the falsetto register, seeing if he can find some kind of direction or purpose there. Five words later — “I believe / Now I see” — and it’s pretty clear he didn’t, so the band gives up and decides to indulge in yet another aimless Mala-style shredfest. (And then that bridge again!)

In any case, I’m surprised that at this point the band was still interested in rolling out unfinished sketches like this one to a die-hard audience searching for something salvageable (which, at the time, Cuomo estimated being at around 40,000 people — about 1000x as many as should have ever heard this recording, though knowing Cuomo’s megalomania at the time, the really figure was probably a lot closer to 40). On the track’s SongMeanings page, there are two comments: one that offers a brief analysis from what appears to be the song’s only fan, and the other a response that bitterly intones, “ya know u really shoutent post somthin if no 1 freakin cares.” He’s right.