Skip to main content

THE GRUNGE MATCH - 012

Match 012:

Alice In Chains "Real Thing" (1990)
Nirvana "Big Cheese" (1989)
Pearl Jam "Go" (1992)
Soundgarden "665" (1988)

"Real Thing" is a weird way to end an album.  It's a sleazy swing number, painting a picture of what happens to people that try to live the rock and roll lifestyle but don't have the support network of record labels and yes men to support their habits.  It sadly predicts the ends of not one but two of the men that recorded the song: Layne Staley and Mike Starr.  Maybe it's not such a weird way to end an album after a...wait, what?  "Sexual chocolate?"  All right...

"Big Cheese" was a B-Side to "Love Buzz", but when Geffen reissued the album in 1992, they put this and "Downer" on the end of "Bleach" for "added value".  The song's okay, I guess; it's pretty flat in delivery, subject matter and tone.  The drums are a little too peppy for the "trying hard not to care" asthetic Sub Pop records was pushing at the time (Cobain's words, not mine), but even then, they're not played with any particular enthusiasm.  The song is...fine, I guess.

"Go" is going to smash this shit, and I don't need to tell you why but I will anyway: This is probably Pearl Jam's most ferocious song, with Eddie Vedder practically screaming parts of it through clenched teeth, drop D tuning that's there for the extra aggression and not just for the sake of the blues like "Even Flow", and fuckin' SLAMMIN' drums, bruh.  The thing I don't like about this when comparing it to songs from "Ten" is it's harder to understand anything Vedder is saying, and even the production sounds a little more cluttered (and I love Brendan O'Brien).  Still a really good song, though.

"665" probably shouldn't count, but it was an album track and to have an equal number of songs for each band, I had to make some tough decisions.  In the interest of fairness, seeing as this was a skit that was a play on the hysteria over backmasking, subliminal messages and satan worship in rock music at the time, I've listened to the 90 second piece forward and backward.  It didn't help.  This shit dumb.

"Go": 4
"Real Thing": 3
"Big Cheese": 2
"665": 1

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 43
Alice In Chains: 32
Nirvana: 25
Soundgarden: 20

That will do it for "Facelift".  Tomorrow Alice In Chains starts on their first acoustic offering, the "Sap" EP.  Oh yeah, there's some other album debuting tomorrow.  What was it?  Oh well, whatever.  Never mind.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Update Wrap-Up

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…

THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 172

Anthrax "Impaled" (2016) VS Megadeth "Dystopia" (2016) VS Metallica "Atlas, Rise!" (2016) VS Slayer "Jihad" (Live from Sofia, Bulgaria) (2010)

Unfortunately, Anthrax drew the short straw here, as "Impaled" is a middling intro that, on top of being a bit of a non-song, goes on a hair too long for its own good.

"Dystopia" is a solid, upbeat fist-pumper that was a no-brainer to make the first single off the album of the same name.  It may seem a little milquetoast for the first half, but once the "single" part falls away, it reveals a banger in the back half that makes you remember why you like this stuff in the first place.  It'll take more than one listen to realize how cool this song is, but on play two or three you'll be nodding your head with a pleased scowl on your face.

My first impression of "Atlas, Rise!" was "This is the most average Metallica song ever."  Like if you took all the Met…

THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 178

Anthrax "Suzerain" (2016) VS Megadeth "Conquer Or Die!" (2016) VS Metallica "ManUNkind" (2016) VS Slayer "Cast The First Stone" (2015)

"Suzerain" is your pentennial reminder that Charlie Bennante don't fuck around.  Definitely the most fiery song on "For All Kings", and probably the closest to the old Anthrax as we're going to get ever again.  Bang your head in reflection.

"Conquer Or Die!" is more old school, though whether that works for or against it is up to you.  It's the three minute instrumental interlude.  This one is...fine.  Honestly, it's better than fine when compared to the song I have to review next, so I shan't complain too loudly.  But it is a song you wouldn't exactly miss if it fell off the face of the planet either.

"ManUNkind" was the point where I stopped giving "Hardwired...To Self-Destruct" the benefit of the doubt and started dreading the fact that I h…