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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.

44 Comments

  1. Soyrev wrote:

    I wouldn’t terribly mind the return of this song to the live set — it’s not a bad way to spend 2 minutes. Although if ANY Maladroit songs are played, I would most appreciate some “Burdnt Jamb” or “Death & Destruction.” I don’t want to hear anything else from it live ever again, though.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Permalink
  2. HearYOUme wrote:

    One of the few songs I kinda enjoy on maladroit actually. I agree with majority of what you said.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Permalink
  3. This is the Way wrote:

    I’m sure that on the VCD commentary for the rehearsal footage Brian makes a crack along the lines of “there’s me, wondering why we’re gonna play this song again”. Anyway, probably means nothing…Pinkerton, Maladroit, same difference, right? …

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Permalink
  4. noobcakesmcgee wrote:

    This song alternates crossing the line from Mala-crap to good song and back again pretty frequently for me. If I’m in the mood for some Maladroit, it’s one of the better on the album, but as you said, gimme Burdnt Jamb any day.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 7:41 pm | Permalink
  5. Art Vandelay wrote:

    It’s not a bad way to spend 2 minutes, but it’s not a good one either. Anything I normally would like about a track like this is totally negated by the ridiculous word-salad of the lyrics and the Scott Stapp “yeahs” (presumably just meant to affirm “yeah, we’re foisting this garbage on you” to the listeners).

    As a side note, as a loooong time fan… for years I never believed I would forgive Rivers for the Maladroit era… all the shenanigans trying to figure out the very lowest threshold of effort they could put into the songs… BUT enter Raditude/Wayne/Kenny G/AAR/Indian shit/Disney Pop Producers/Jermaine Dupri… and the Maladroit years are suddenly not looking so embarrassing anymore.

    They at least sound like a real band on “Fall Together”, disposable shit song though it may be.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 7:42 pm | Permalink
  6. Pattycake wrote:

    Isn’t the last part of the chorus “Fall together, Get up”? That’s what I’ve always heard.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Permalink
  7. Soyrev wrote:

    TITW: Hahah, actually? That’s pretty hilarious. Although odd that he says that on the DVD in ’04, and then praises the song the next year in this AP interview.

    Noob: Yeah, I kind of waver in my opinion of this song a little bit. And yet it’s still probably in my top 5 from Maladroit? Definitely the “Grand Playlist” selection that’s on the very lowest rung of that distinction’s quality ladder.

    Art: Raditude is much, much better than Maladroit as far as I care — especially when you consider the Deluxe tracks (except for “Get Me Some,” which is kind of like Maladroit taken to its worst possible extreme). But I think I’d take Rivers being a bit of a deliberate asshole over being some weird pop robot automaton that he seems to have become onstage and in interviews. He’s feigning a personality that really is not his at all, and it comes off as being very awkward and ingenuine; at least being an asocial, fan-hating dick came naturally to him.

    And the randomized setlist tours made seeing them live actually worthwhile. If they did that again I would see them multiple times per outing. (Well, presuming ticket prices weren’t 55 fucking dollars!)

    Pattycake: I really don’t think so, but don’t feel like listening to this song again tonight. If anyone else wants to double-check…

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Permalink
  8. s.o.s. wrote:

    This is one of my favorites off Maladroit. I really like it.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 10:20 pm | Permalink
  9. ThomYorke wrote:

    I’ve always enjoyed Fall Together, and it does work live extremely well. As has already been said, much of Maladroit sounds like poetry when compared to contrived Raditude material.

    The lyrics seem appropriate to the vibe of the song, and it’s concise with killer solo.

    Like Soy said, at least songs like this still sound genuine. Their best material? No. But it is still fairly well crafted and the band wrote it themselves. Sadly, that’s a reason to be excited these days.

    Anyway, it’s a pretty solid song. I hope it comes back to the live set.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Permalink
  10. clore wrote:

    The “we go together” line kind of reminds me of the “keep fishin'” line in Mo’ Beats.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 12:55 am | Permalink
  11. Running Monk wrote:

    i like this song. one of the better hslf of maladroit

    i always thought it was “fall together, get up”

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 5:32 am | Permalink
  12. Burgess wrote:

    I think this is my favorite song off Maladroit, which doesn’t say much. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it sounds genuine or embodies any of the aspects that got me into Weezer, but it is successful at rocking hard. I would listen to a whole album of it over Maladroit.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 7:11 am | Permalink
  13. countchocula wrote:

    I’ve always been a maladroit fans, regardless of how much everyone else seems to dislike it. This song is and always has been one of my favorites on the album, this was a good review. That interview you linked to was also a fun read.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 7:11 am | Permalink
  14. Burgess wrote:

    Also, I’m pretty sure the lyrics are meaningless, so it doesn’t really matter what exactly he’s saying.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 7:13 am | Permalink
  15. waitingandwaiting wrote:

    I love the solo, one of my favourite moments on maladroit.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 7:31 am | Permalink
  16. ThomYorke wrote:

    Not to brag, but did I call everyone turning on Raditude within a couple weeks on A6 or what? The love-fest has ended.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 8:25 am | Permalink
  17. noobcakesmcgee wrote:

    I withheld judgment on it at first because I suspected similar things, Thom. After the new-Weezer smell wore off, there’s only a smattering of tracks I even care to listen to anymore.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink
  18. Soyrev wrote:

    Clore: The “Keep Fishin'” in “Mo Beats” is an explicit (and stupid) reference to the song, though…I think this is just as an example of Rivers’ songwriting laziness of this particular era.

    Chocula: That’s probably one of my favorite Weezer articles ever. Very interesting read.

    Burgess: I disagree. “Fall together, get up” is kind of a cool line, “Fall together, ‘gether” is just redundant and lame. I’ll relisten later today and come to my own conclusion about which it is.

    Thom and Noob: I stand at a strange crossroads with Raditude right now. I know that, as an album, it doesn’t hold up too well: “I Want You To” is only decent, and a terrible opener (but in truth, no worse as an opener than any other Track 1 on a Weezer album since Green), and I can have some fun to “Daddy” but I would never listen to it of my own volition. I really dig everything else on the album except “In The Mall,” though (which is still definitely better than the worst song on every other Weezer album since Green!). “I Don’t Want To Let You Go” is a fantastic song, but I don’t know how I feel about it as a closer…Better at that role than “Haunt You Every Day” or “December” to be sure, though.

    And then, the bonus tracks are all fantastic, except “Get Me Some,” which is at least the funniest thing Weezer has ever recorded.

    I like this album a lot. I may like it more, as an album, than any Weezer album since Green. I’ll give it another couple seasons to see how I feel about that in the end, but it’s an album that at least serves a purpose. Listening to these tracks makes me smile, get amped up, rock out, and generally have a good time — some of these tracks are going to SLAY when I play them in the car over break. In that way, it serves a real purpose as an album, which is something the past three Weezer records really don’t do.

    Also, everybody post in the Songblog thread on ATW so I can give you your +1s!

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
  19. tsarczar wrote:

    “Art Vandelay wrote:
    It’s not a bad way to spend 2 minutes, but it’s not a good one either. Anything I normally would like about a track like this is totally negated by the ridiculous word-salad of the lyrics and the Scott Stapp “yeahs” (presumably just meant to affirm “yeah, we’re foisting this garbage on you” to the listeners).”

    This is pure gold. Really the whole comment is gold, but this was awesome.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
  20. catfamine wrote:

    Definitely one of my favorites on Maladroit. And Cuomo completely nails the solo when they play it live, one more reason why that sumbitch needs to pick his guitar back up.

    Also, Soy: You may have addressed this before, but are you planning on doing a total album recap once you’ve finished reviewing every song from its respective album?

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
  21. brado8 wrote:

    I do believe he is.

    This song is OK. Definitely one of the better tunes on Maladroit.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
  22. noobcakesmcgee wrote:

    How close are we to finishing any particular album? It seems like they’re distributed pretty evenly.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Permalink
  23. Soyrev wrote:

    Yes, I will be doing album summaries, so to speak. In-depth total reviews, quotations from the band members, critics, intellectuals, et al, alternate tracklist possibilities, whatever comes to mind. I think I will hold off on doing them all until I’m done every album/song from that era, though, so it might be a while before we get there.

    Noob: According to the right sidebar, I have tackled 37 album tracks so far. The breakdown goes:

    Blue: 6
    Pinkerton: 5
    Green: 5
    Maladroit: 8
    Make Believe: 6
    Red (w/ deluxe): 7
    Rad: none yet

    And 7 for Alone, 1 for Alone 2.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Permalink
  24. noobcakesmcgee wrote:

    Are Raditude tracks in the randomizer yet?

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Permalink
  25. Soyrev wrote:

    Yes, everything is added to the randomizer as soon as it becomes available. And Alone 2 has been in there forever, too, but only one song from it has come up yet…Hm!

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 7:29 pm | Permalink
  26. GuessWho wrote:

    Are songs like I Don’t Want To Let You Go, Prettiest Girl, and Can’t Stop Partying in the randomizer twice (or possibly more in the latter two’s case), giving them twice the chance of appearing? Or do you only have one version of songs like that for representation purposes?

    (silly question, I know)

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Permalink
  27. Soyrev wrote:

    I used to have that perfectly sorted on my old machine, but I’m still cleaning up the randomizer playlist a little right now. So it’s a bit skewed at the moment, but hopefully will be made totally “fair” again soon.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 11:13 pm | Permalink
  28. Burgess wrote:

    How do people feel about the effects on the drums in the intro? It’s a little played, but I think it works here, and makes the guitars sound huge when they come in.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 7:02 am | Permalink
  29. Burgess wrote:

    I realize this might not be a case of “effects” but just using a different mic setup or something, but you know what I mean.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 8:21 am | Permalink
  30. Soyrev wrote:

    Yeah, I like it for the added power it gives those guitars. Nice little trick.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  31. Burgess wrote:

    This song is among a few on this album that are pretty much the last gasp of Rivers the hard rock riff man who existed in the late 90s/early 00s. He brought us the 2000 summer songs, which brought us Hash Pipe, the success of which brought us a handful of tracks off Maladroit, and then nothing. At that point, chuggy hard rock riff Rivers went into a coma. Now he doesn’t even play guitar!

    Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink
  32. runnersdialzero wrote:

    Dare I say I prefer Scott’s voice for this song over Rivers’?

    Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Permalink
  33. Robin wrote:

    I have never actually heard Scott’s version of this song, but I have heard him sing on Red (Cold Dark World and King). When listening to those songs, I just kind of imagined they could be so much more/better if Rivers was singing them.

    Then the iTunes Raditude Pass came out with Rivers doing vocals for Cold Dark World.

    Was this recorded before or after Scott’s cut? Because seriously, it kind of sounds like Rivers is doing an imitation of Scott’s vocals (which were really unpleasant to begin with). I was hoping he would make the song at least semi-enjoyable to listen to. No dice.

    Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
  34. Soyrev wrote:

    Don’t know Robin, although Karl said it’s probably also from the Red sessions, an unused mix of the song. Why we got it — especially instead of Rivers’ “King” — I have no idea…

    Monday, November 16, 2009 at 2:45 am | Permalink
  35. runnersdialzero wrote:

    I doubt Varz ever attempted a vocal for “King” in the studio – the recollection of Scott rescuing the song from the trash in the Red deluxe liner notes pretty much states that Rivers said if they were gonna record it, Scott was gonna sing it.

    Also, Robin – I think Scott’s voice just fits these songs much better. Karl indicated that Rivers was originally meant to sing “Cold Dark World”, thus we can assume this take was done before Scott’s. And good lord is Rivers’ original vocal for the song awkward – amusing, but a pretty bad vocal. Scott was the right choice by a mile.

    Same goes for “King” – I’m sure a Rivers lead would be a really nice listen, but I think Scott fits the song better. Putting Rivers in the song where they did was an excellent touch – they knew well enough that Rivers’ voice DID fit that part.

    Same goes for “Fall Together” – I think Scott nails the vocal on the live soundbard recording I have of the song from 2005. The altered arrangement is much tighter, the key change was a wise move, and Scott’s vocal just has the right attitude for the song where as Rivers’ vocal is the standard Maladroit-era tone – completely devoid of any life or conviction. Even a 2005 Rivers vocal, I think, wouldn’t match Scott’s take on the song.

    Monday, November 16, 2009 at 3:45 am | Permalink
  36. Burgess wrote:

    I think the only Rivers vocal that exists for “King” would be on the demo.

    Monday, November 16, 2009 at 6:56 am | Permalink
  37. Soyrev wrote:

    Runners: Not releasing “Cold Dark World” would be the right choice, but between Scott’s and Rivers’, Scott’s is definitely better…

    And yes, the moment when Rivers’ vocal hits in “King” is freaking awesome. Really good dramatic touch.

    Any chance you can sendspace that Scott “Fall Together?” When I wrote about it in this blog post I was just going from memory, but with your description my interest is once again piqued. It’s not in the Media Gallery anymore, for whatever reason.

    Burgess: I want that demo, though! If Rivers jamming with Sloan can both be considered “Rivers Cuomo” and “Weezer,” then I think the same should apply to his home demos…; )

    Monday, November 16, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Permalink
  38. justbluemyself wrote:

    do you still think it’s “fall together, gether”? You have to be the only person ever to think that’s the lyric.

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Permalink
  39. Soyrev wrote:

    I most certainly don’t have to be!

    But I haven’t re-listened yet, and am away from my music right now. The uncertainty continues…

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Permalink
  40. Burgess wrote:

    I think I assumed it was “Fall together, gether” too, but I never really listened too hard.

    Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  41. Soyrev wrote:

    Relistening on headphones, I am now too convinced that it is indeed “get up.” Post has been edited accordingly.

    Also, I was unsure of it before, but I now definitely stand by this one’s placement on the Grand Playlist. Totally killer rock song, and a sound the band never really achieves anywhere else in their discography. (For the best, but it’s a nice little peculiarity to have)

    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink
  42. ehsteve14 wrote:

    I’ll chime in to say I thought it was “together, gether” also. So… that makes at least 3.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  43. Ludicrosity wrote:

    Wait, it’s NOT “Fall Together… gether!?” Make that four on the floor… bitches. 🙂

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
  44. BigPete wrote:

    I don’t know if you’ve addressed this before, since I just discovered this site, but my main problem with maladroit’s ‘Big Rock’ songs was the guitar tone. If I remember correctly Rivers had become enamored with those stupid line-6 amp modelers (The name of which escapes me). It’s really noticeable on the intro of Take Control.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

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