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Fall Together

I do have moments I love on Maladroit, like ‘Falling For You.’
—Brian Bell, Alternative Press cover story, 2005

Of course, as the interviewer quickly points out in his article, “Falling For You” has nothing to do with Maladroit, and is rather a key moment in the band’s much-lauded Pinkerton album. A telling Freudian slip, to be sure, but what the AP author fails to note is that Bell really means “Fall Together” — a song that he describes as, “Really powerful – the band’s tight, and we’re playing riffs. It [could] have been an album of that. Instead, I’m a bit confused when I hear it…”

To his credit, Bell is right — “Fall Together,” while it’s no “Falling For You” (which is unfair; very few things are), is one of the few instances where Rivers Cuomo’s attempted blend of ’80s arena metal and more traditional Weezer pop/rock actually kind of works. In a sequence of piecemeal construction, the elements of the song drop into place like Legos: Pat Wilson’s dirty drumbeat bleeds seamlessly into Bell’s biting guitar snarl, to which Scott Shriner soon adds a seismic, spatially expanding bass lick. Cuomo saunters into the track with a surprisingly convincing, sleazy swagger, providing a semi-coherent lyric that actually adds to the track’s mise-en-scène. The chorus makes the least sense — in its entirety, “Streamline / Mainline / Fall together, get up” — but sounds pretty badass over Bell and Shiner’s bed of backing vocal “ahhhs.” Finding time to fit in a positively evil-sounding guitar solo, the song is in and out in 2 minutes flat, stating its simple idea quite eloquently then moving on. It’s a concise and efficient stab of dark, teeth-gnashing rock.

A comment about the end of the song, and then the beginning: the outro “yeahs” clearly take production and arrangement cues from Nirvana (think the “hey!” post-chorus to “Smells Like Teen Spirit”), but depending on my mood I can’t really determine if it sounds legitimately Cobain, or Cobain-as-seen-through-Fred-Durst — either way, it’s the one part of the song that grates with me. It’s also interesting how the first three words of the song are “We go together,” just like another Maladroit-era tune of that very name, but the two songs couldn’t be more different in terms of their tone. (“We Go Together” is the better of the two, though — and that’s for sure.)

This song was played at least a bit on every tour from Maladroit‘s release up through 2005, but there’s really only a couple of variations worth noting: first and foremost, the official DVD compendium Video Capture Device documents an acoustic guitar-and-bass backstage jam between Cuomo and Shriner that’s pretty cool, despite being rough around the edges and falling apart during the solo. Shriner also wound up taking the lead vocal for this song during its 2005 setlist appearances, and he did quite a fine job of it. It has not been played in any format on the more recent tours.