Pinkerton is not just the greatest record Weezer will ever make. It is, in my opinion, one of the greatest records anybody has; though it’s not the best record of all time, it might very well be my favorite. And when you’ve got a record that boasts “Falling For You,” “Tired Of Sex,” “Across the Sea” and “Butterfly,” it’s easier to lose sight of the (technically) simpler ones.
But let us not forget that “Getchoo” is a flawless song in its own right. Or rather, it is a beautifully flawed song, with every little crack and failing in its right place — indicative of one of Pinkerton‘s greatest strengths as an album. With a buzz-saw power slide, this song’s opening fanfare takes the tension and release of “Tired of Sex” even higher, the perfect track 2 rockout to kick your ass and leave you dang near senseless (leaving the freshly exhausted listener ready to exhale and really take in the words of the more downbeat, reflective “No Other One” — inspired sequencing at work). Here, Cuomo’s lyrics are pretty simple (to wit, chorus: “Getchoo,” “uh-huh,” repeat), but there’s enough interesting imagery (“Sometimes I push too hard / Sometimes you fall and skin your knees”) to offset the more standard love-gone-awry cliches (“It used to be a game, now it’s a crying shame”), creating a smart synthesis of an instantly relatable theme and enough of a personal spin to keep you keen.
Most importantly, Cuomo fucking means it: the way his voice quivers and breaks, seething at the seams, ready to burst. Brian Bell fucking means it, too, when he cuts in with his just-right backup vocals at all the just-right times. Matt Sharp means it when the surging bass reaches for the ends of the fretboard on the bridge, and Cuomo means it when when he taps into that scorching solo immediately thereafter (one of the best neck burners in his recorded repertoire), followed by that euphoric, maddened, “YEAH!” Pat Wilson fucking means it with every last one of his essential fills (especially the decimal blur at 2:25, and the spine-snapping silence breaker five seconds later), and everyone means it in that rollercoaster climax that is the final 20-second charge.
“Getchoo” is the sound of a band that really, really fucking means it.
About those last 20 seconds: as real as Weezer gets. Cuomo wailing like a wounded animal in those final white flashes before death, a perfectly sour-noted Bell and Sharp chanting “this is beginning to hurt” in the background (a terminal flashback to the beginning of the song’s lyric), the frantic and frankly sexual rise of the screaming guitars, Wilson’s precise and thunderous bludgeoning of the kit…All before that final release, that moment of the soul finally leaving the skull, and everyone’s left a flushed and exhausted mess on the floor. “Orgasmic” is a cliche of sonic description on the order of “epic,” but divorce that final swell from its narrative context and it becomes the one rock passage in recorded history that can be said to most closely resemble the way an orgasm feels.
It’s pretty epic, too.