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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.

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