deliverance at hand! – Early hints of Weezer’s Red

In 2007, not much was happening in the world of Weezer. The band was taking a break, with Rivers having finished college and getting married the year before. Some media articles from the time were prophesying doom for the band, but it was more of a case of the interviewers misreading Rivers’ focus on his new life.

There was talk that the band was going to hit the studio sometime that year. Then one day in April, a new song leaked on fan message boards. An acoustic demo featuring Rivers, Pig instantly generated excitement because of the subject matter and composition.

But even more exciting (and curious) was the MP3’s metadata. According to the tags, the Pig demo was part of a 17-track album called Deliverance at Hand! And yes, while it was exciting to know that there was a 17-track demo album, the exclamation point was part of the title.

A few years later, a scanned version of a DAH booklet hit fan sites, with a tracklist and lyrics. The Deliverance at Hand versions of My Day is Coming and I Don’t Wanna Let You Go appeared on Alone II. Some Full-band versions of some songs would be heard on 2008’s Weezer (the Red Album), 2009’s Raditude and 2010’s Death to False Metal. When Rivers started selling his demo bundles in his online store in 2020, the remaining tracks from Deliverance at Hand were finally available as part of the Red-Raditude-Hurley Years bundle.

Deliverance at Hand!

2Heart Songs  
3Here Comes the Girl  
4I Don’t Wanna Let You Go  
6Everybody Get Dangerous  
7Leader of the Pack  
8Miss Sweeney  
9My Bark Is Worse Than My Bite  
10My Day Is Coming  
11Piece of the Pie  
14Run Over by a Truck  
15Why Can’t You Shut Your Mouth?  
16The Odd Couple  
17These Things That You Do  
18The Angel and the One  

Overall, the songs are a mixed bag. Some are excellent. Others are okay. And there are a few that are not my thing.

The recording (and writing) is all Rivers. But because it’s a scaled back solo collection doesn’t mean that it’s a straight acoustic recording. Some songs have piano or organ in the back, as well as double-tracked vocals. It is a demo (and it does a really good job of establishing the feel of these songs), but you could tell that Rivers put some work into this collection. It definitely makes a good listen as its own album (which I’ve done with several of these demo collections in the bundles).

Cover, Deliverance at Hand Booklet

Standout songs include Here Comes the Girl, I Don’t Wanna Let You Go, King, Miss Sweeney, Piece of the Pie, Pig, Respect, Run Over By a Truck and The Angel and the One. The three that we don’t have Weezer versions of, HCTG, Piece of the Pie and Respect, would have made excellent additions to any Weezer album.

For the songs that did go on to have full-band versions, outside of instrumentation, these versions are lyrically and structurally similar to the attempts that made Weezer albums. Rivers knows what he’s doing.

Of course, this was put together and shared a while before Weezer began work on the Red album. That album has an excellent booklet detailing some of the song background and recording information (something that I wish Weezer did more frequently). This wasn’t the last demo collection Rivers would put together before Red (but that’s a story for another time).

It was exciting that spring day in 2007 to hear Pig for the first time. A new potential Weezer song – one that sounded great and had meaning (and I say that as a fan of Make Believe). I can only imagine how excited Rivers must have been putting this collection together. No wonder he gave the CD the titular exclamation mark.

Other Thoughts

  • For a while, Piece of the Pie had a reputation among fans as a holy grail. It’s a great song, no doubt. I don’t know that I’d have it up among his finest songs (and there are several from this era that I enjoy more), but it is a highlight.
  • As he was finishing out Harvard in 2005-2006, Rivers was still writing music. Many of those recordings are available in the Red-Rad-Hurley bundle. Despite the reports saying Weezer was done, or Rivers wasn’t interested in music, during that time he did talk up some of the songs that he was working on. One was about the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (My Day is Coming, on DaH). Another about songs that influenced him throughout his life (Heart Songs, on DaH). And the other one (and possibly most ambitious one) was an internal dialogue about whether he wanted to live on the East Coast or West Coast (East Coast or West Coast, not on DaH, but part of the EWBAITE bundle). ECWC sounded special, as he was going to have Brian sing the parts praising the East Coast and Scott sing the West Coast hype. And it came together very well. But not well enough for Weezer, apparently. The song eventually morphed into the (just as excellent) Up in the Clouds.
  • If you’d like to check out Deliverance at Hand!, it’s part of the Red-Raditude-Hurley Years bundle on Rivers’ website.

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