This one stems from the earliest of sessions for Make Believe, which actually began in 2002, before Maladroit was even released. Considering none of these songs made the final album (and because the sessions have a very distinct sound not at all like the album for which they were initially recorded), fans have copped to calling them the Early Album 5 demos. That’s how I’ll be referring to them, as well.
“She Who Is Militant” is one of the songs that was attempted on the very first day of recording (3/08), a project that ran for months before being scrapped entirely. Rivers Cuomo was really changing things up and challenging himself in trying to write very un-Weezery lyrics during this era, and I think this song contains some of its weirdest lines: 7/02’s version features the refrain, “Oh, if you ever grow your brain / I’ll be there, I’ll be there,” while 7/16 (with completely rewritten lyrics) has lines like, “Little children don’t appeal to you and your cowboy ideal,” and “I need a tissue for my nose.”
Some analysis reveals that this is a song about a girl who simply isn’t interested in a relationship right now: most tellingly, the 7/02 version begins, “It looks like you were never going to be my queen / It looks like there are too many places that you want to see.” It’s not a particularly good one: from the overwrought lyrics to the ham-handed riff to the uninspired vocal melody. The 7/16 version is distinguished for having a decent harmonized guitar solo and the best mix of the bunch, but even then I find precious little to salvage “She Who Is Militant” – a reminder that even some of the most intriguing Cuomo titles attend completely uninteresting songs.
Strangely enough, Cuomo marks “Militant” as having been an early version of Make Believe single “This Is Such A Pity,” but the musical relationship between the two is very thin – over the course of three years and many rewrites, little more than the general chord structure remains intact.
In all, the Early Album 5 demos marked a period of Weezer branching out into uncharted territory, with quite a few misses for every hit. “She Who Is Militant” is one of those failed experiments.