Weezer sneakingly gave Pitchfork an earful when they called them out during a performance of “Tell Me What You Want” at the during Summer Game Fest. It was the first time the band had ever debuted the song, and fans immediately caught on to the diss they gave to Pitchfork in a couple of their lyrics.
The line everyone is talking about is in the first verse when lead vocalist Rivers Cuomo blatantly mentions Pitchfork by name, singing, “Don’t be influenced by an office full of dorks. I won’t mention any names (cough, cough) Pitchfork.”
“Tell Me What You Want” is a jumpy, upbeat hard rock track, driven by heavy guitar licks infused with lyrics about acceptance and not being able to please others. The tone is sarcastically happy, given that the whole time Cuomo rants about certain critics’ failure to truly understand the band’s artistic vision.
Over the past two years, Weezer has released 3 full-length studio albums: Black, OK Human and Van Weezer. Pitchfork has notably given all 3 of those albums very bad reviews, and on their most recent album Van Weezer, they gave the band a score of only 5.9.
In their review of Van Weezer, Pitchfork wrote: “The title promises Van Helen, but the volume rarely exceeds Rick Springfield. Paired with Cuomo’s eternally boyish voice, the result is a cuddly, Build-a-Bear tribute to 80’s metal, with little of the rowdiness this music embodied in its heyday. The only parents this metal could piss off are the one with strong opinions about Pinkerton.”
When Cuomo sings the line, “Tell me what you want, I’m gonna get right on it,” there is a sarcastic kind of humor in the lyrics and laziness in his voice that points to how emotionally draining it can be trying to please their harshest neysayers. Cuomo doesn’t want to conform to what critics from Pitchfork expect of his band, but also knows that he needs to please them in order to stay relevant in this business.
“Tell Me What You Want” was released on June 11, the same day the popular online game Wave Breaks decided to launch “Weezer Mode,” a level that features the band’s new song. “Tell Me What You Want” is also stream-safe, which means Twitch users who want to use the song can avoid receiving a copyright strike.
Photo Credit: Brett Padelford