Skip to main content

THE GRUNGE MATCH - 009

Match 009:

Alice In Chains "Put You Down" (1990)
Nirvana "Swap Meet" (1989)
Pearl Jam "Garden" (1991)
Soundgarden "Swallow My Pride" (1988)

"Put You Down" sounds more like the cock rock grunge supplanted than almost anything else in all 127 matches we have set up for this thing.  And in 1990, an A&R guy probably heard this and thought: "First single!"  But what do they know?  It's not a bad song, but it's pretty cheezy.

"Swap Meet" is one of my favorites from "Bleach", even though it's not phenomenal or anything.  It's still a song that'll make you mean mug while you bob your head.  It's got a bouncy energy and a sinister riff, never slowing down from its brisk pace.  The lyrics tell a story, and the solo sucks in just the right way where it seems like sonic sarcasm instead of just bad playing.

"Garden" is the song most grunge/post-grunge bands think they're writing when they pull that soft verse hard chorus bullshit.  THIS is how it's done.  And in spite of how radio-ready it sounds, this is actually a deep cut; not even an unofficial single like "Black".  The smooth verses commit to being a ballad; they don't just feel like barely contained, evenly measured chunks of "The formula demands we be quiet for 8 bars, then loud chorus."  Even the chorus isn't the real hard part.  It's a soaring melody with distorted guitars, but it's not the aggressive bro dude ballad of ten years in the future.  It has a genuine quality completely bereft of its successors.  And then the middle section adds the beef, but the thicker, more powerful riffs aren't even the focal point; you kind of have to listen to get their full strength.  The solo's a bit lackadaisical for my tastes, but otherwise, it's a solid tune.

"Swallow My Pride" is better than "Kingdom Of Come" or "Little Joe", but it's rather meh, all the same, and it ends with a burp because why the fuck not?  If they don't care, why should I, right?

"Garden": 4
"Swap Meet": 3
"Put You Down": 2
"Swallow My Pride": 1

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 34
Alice In Chains: 25
Nirvana: 18
Soundgarden: 13

Thankfully for Soundgarden, we will be moving into their first full length album next time, so let's see how they do!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE GRUNGE MATCH - Conclusion

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…

R.I.P. Chris Cornell

The Grunge Match is suspended indefinitely.

I don't know when it will resume.  This hits way too close to home for way too many reasons.

As far as writing goes, I just did Match 112 Tuesday night.  I have no interest in going back through and making this a love letter to the departed, nor bashing him for tearing our hearts out.  I have no idea when I'll be able to even listen to Soundgarden again, and when I do, it won't be the fucking same so there's no way I can give any kind of objective rating.  Chris Cornell was the soul of that band, the thing that took sludge with a few acrobatic musical flourishes and made it into the hellfire slinging, metal rending monster that it needed to be.

So yeah.  This one hurts.  The man is dead.  The music remains, but is changed forever.  His friends, family and fans are suffering incalculable grief.  There's not much more to say, so silence seems like the best option.

THE NEXT FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 001

Since dusting off The Big Four Song Challenge Series I got to thinking.  What about the other thrash metal giants out there?  There's always been a debate as to who the next four bands would be on the list.  The two constants are always Testament and Exodus, but nobody can agree who's 5 and who's 6.  Then nobody can agree on who the next two bands would be.  Overkill gets thrown around a lot, but they're not really as big as the two bands I've chosen to fill those slots.

Oh yeah.  Probably should have mentioned.  Though you've probably guessed by the blog post title, I am doing a completely new series of blogs called "The Next Four Song Challenge Series".  Same rules, same set up as before and same INSANE amount of blog posts.  The four bands we're going to be covering are as follows:

Exodus
Testament
Sepultura
Suicidal Tendencies

Why not Overkill?  For one, I could never stand the guy's voice, but all told, Sepultura and Suicidal are bigger h…