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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 003

Match 003:

Alice In Chains "Sea Of Sorrow" (1990)
Nirvana "About A Girl" (1989)
Pearl Jam "Alive" (1991)
Soundgarden "Tears To Forget" (1987)

"Sea Of Sorrow" 's introductory riff belongs in a desert scene in some movie; it has a Death Valley flavor to it.  Then things pick up steam as they barrel into the pre-chorus and chorus and straight through the solo.  It's like a body of water gaining momentum as it churns through the area which contains it.  It's not a song I got behind right away, because I always thought the chorus lyrics were kind of dumb, but over time I've really gotten into this one.

"About A Girl" was a massive hit, but not in 1989.  The album cut only gained rotation after the spectacular collapse of Nirvana and its leader.  It's a quality piece of songwriting, and based on the other songs on "Bleach", it punches well above its weight. 

"Alive" is another one of those songs it's hard to be objective about or feel much of anything from anymore, since I've been hearing it on the radio literally since I started listening to the radio.  But once again, impeccable songcraft and great lyrics save it.  If I actually sit and pay attention to the song, then I can think about the story.  If you've never been able to relate to the lines "Do I deserve to be?  Is that the question?  And if so, if so, who answers?" then I envy you.

"Tears To Forget" goes for the throat with a buzzsaw, yet still with a lack of distortion on the guitars that makes the non-verse parts sound more like The B-52's than Soundgarden.  It's an odd beast, as the verses are some of the most purely metal seconds Soundgarden has ever recorded.  It's savage by the standards of grunge, which has a bit of restraint built in by design.  And I like it.

Still, I cannot deny how well put together the other three songs are, so I gotta go like this:

"Alive": 4
"Sea Of Sorrow": 3
"About A Girl": 2
"Tears To Forget": 1

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 11
Alice In Chains: 10
Soundgarden: 5
Nirvana: 4

Pearl Jam re-takes the lead as we move into match 004.  Tune in tomorrow to see what happens next!

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