Skip to main content


Match 002:

Alice In Chains "Man In The Box" (1990)
Nirvana "Floyd The Barber" (1989)
Pearl Jam "Even Flow" (1991)
Soundgarden "Entering" (1987)

"Man In The Box" is a good song.  I can't really think or feel much more about it than that, since for 25 FUCKING YEARS I've heard it one out of every four times I've turned on the radio.  With repetition anything loses meaning, but what helps "Man In The Box"'s case is it's a really solid pop metal song.  The chorus is powerful, the melody is infectious, it has groove, the solo is on's objectively well-crafted.  And I liked it to begin with, so even if I'm sick to death of it, it's still a song I can sit through if necessary, and even wring a little bit of joy out of even if the impulse is to block it out just like any other sensory input that our brains have trained us to ignore.

"Floyd The Barber" is menacing, but I can't tell what the hell it's about.  Cobain is mush-mouthed as ever, so I looked up the lyrics.  IT'S ABOUT BEING RAPED IN THE BARBERSHOP OF MAYBERRY R.F.D.  I'm not making this up!  The song's okay, but it is not in the same class as today's offerings from Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains.

Speaking of songs that you've heard a MILLION times, holy SHIT it's "Even Flow".  Maybe not as prevalent as "Man In The Box" has proven to be, it's still out there and back in the 90's got more play than the former by quite a bit, lemme tellya.  I think because I like the production better and because I haven't heard it as much in the last decade or so I'm able to get more enjoyment out of it than I am "Man In The Box".  Plus, there's a bit of a quirky arrangement, so there's more points in its favor.

"Entering" has a laid back yet tense intro that leads to fiery verses, yet never has much distortion or crunch, and as such seems more like a Pearl Jam song, if not for Chris Cornell's unmistakable delivery.  It really does sound like grunge from a time before grunge, which in a way it was.  But of course, grunge was a regional thing years before it was popular.

In spite of all the points I gave "Even Flow", and in spite of how sick I am and always will be of the thing, "Man In The Box" is just the cooler song.  Gotta give it the win.

"Man In The Box": 4
"Even Flow": 3
"Entering": 2
"Floyd The Barber": 1


Alice In Chains: 7
Pearl Jam: 7
Soundgarden: 4
Nirvana: 2

Match 003 tomorrow!


Popular posts from this blog


Well, The Big Four Song Challenge Series Update has drawn to a close, and here we are in the aftermath.  Metallica edged out Megadeth on the strength of bonus material, Anthrax did okay and Slayer should have broken up when Jeff Hanneman died.  For real, all coming back with another album did for them was...well, make them money and allow them to keep touring and making more money, so there's that.  But more importantly, by releasing "Repentless", they dropped from two to three on my completely arbitrary opinion based blog series status ranking system!  Surely, that can't have been worth a couple million bucks?

Anyhow, I'm getting the feeling that rock music in general is going to need to evolve into something completely different or call it quits altogether.  Rock has had its 60 year run just like jazz did before it, and if it doesn't come up with something soon, it will fade away from the public consciousness, only to return in Gap commercials in the 2040…


This has certainly been a heck of a thing.

Writing this started out as a labor of love to a subgenre of rock and roll that came along at the perfect time for me (both when I was entering middle school in the bottom 5 of the popularity pecking order and when I started buying albums at the impressionable age of 11).  It obviously took a long time to put together: August 29th, 2016 is when I began planning, May 24th is when I wrote the last entry, the wee hours of August 1st, 2017 is when I finished proofreading and uploading the entries to the blog with video links, and here I am typing these words on August 15th.

The elephant in the room is this genre seems to be built on death.  Three of the four frontmen of these bands are dead, one of which occurred during the run of this series.  (Shouts to Alice In Chains bassist Mike Starr as well.  R.I.P.)  On top of that, Pearl Jam only exists because the lead singer of Mother Love Bone died, causing that band to break up.  If you go down the nex…


Anthrax "Vice Of The People" (2016) VS Megadeth "Melt The Ice Away" (2016) VS Metallica "When A Blind Man Cries" (2016) VS Slayer "Pride In Prejudice" (2015)

"Vice Of The People" is the Japanese bonus track for "For All Kings".  Aaaand it starts with that doofy march beat.  Wonderful.  The lyrics don't do it any favors in the "I should take this seriously" department either.  And like most of the songs I've slagged in this Update process, it's not bad.  It's just so "...whatever."

"Melt The Ice Away" is a Budgie cover that was the Spotify exclusive bonus track for "Dystopia".  It's funny how the original Budgie tracks are often much softer than the bands that cover them and turn them into fucking barnburners.  This song sounds a little goofy in the vocals and lyrics department, but knowing it's a Budgie song, it totally gets a pass.  And unlike some covers of Budgi…