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Match 028:

Alice In Chains "Hate To Feel" (1992)
Nirvana "Dive" (1992)
Pearl Jam " Nothingman" (1994)
Soundgarden "Loud Love" (1989)

*[Blogger's Note: I'm gonna break kayfabe for a minute and talk about how I put this together.  One thing I learned about the initial run of The Big Four Song Challenge Series is having to write something new every day whether you want to or not is a great way to induce burnout.  (Yay for me.)  So this time around, I wanted to get as much done before I started as I could.

The idea for this and the April Fool's joke that set it up were in late August, and I started writing The Grunge Match the second week of September.  After getting quite a ways in (i.e.: 27 matchups), I took a break because...reasons?  I did have The Big Four Update to write still because most of "Hardwired" hadn't come out yet, but I knocked most of that out on a Saturday night.  Point is, last I wrote something for this was on October 24th, and I'm typing this on December 8th.  So if the writing style or opinions seem different for some reason, it's because I haven't touched this in six weeks, even though you're reading it uninterrupted at the end of April.

Now enjoy The Grunge Four Song Challenge Series Matchup 028, already in progress]:

"Hate To Feel" starts with a loose swing intended to convey inebriation, then snaps taut with the pre-chorus to get across the danger that comes with this loss of control.  It has such jagged pieces to it that in spite of its flaws, it makes for quite an interesting listen.  It's just a shame the lyrics are kind of lame.  Like, why the fuck is "Shaggy D.A." referenced?  But the rest of the song does a good job of portraying the deepening of heroin addiction and self loathing and hatred that come from the realization you're nothing but a fucking junkie.  (A self loathing and hatred you can get a little bit of relief from if you obliterate yourself with some heroin, so hey.  Knock yourself out.)

It's at this point that I realize how long it's been since I've listened to "Incesticide", because my copy of "Dive" has a loud artifact just before the first verse that I know wasn't there on the CD.   Must've happened to it during the ripping process, so that means I haven't listened to this song since...2005?  Damn.

Anyway, "Dive" is a solid, mid-paced grunge song.  Not much to report, no frills to speak of and no changes.  Just a bass intro and the middle section has a sort of bass lead into guitar lead thing that sounds decent.

I never really loved "Nothingman", but I only ever disliked it when half of "Vitalogy" was in heavy rotation in 1995.  Since it left the radio, I've fallen back in like with it.  It's a slow number, which is always a little harder to judge when the other three in a matchup are full on rock songs.  But when the song came on, I started singing along at my desk, which is not something I could say for "Hate To Feel" in spite of having a cassette copy of "Dirt" for two years longer than "Vitalogy" existed.  One made more of an impact.

But hey.  Speaking of impact, "Louder Than Love" may be my favorite pre-"Badmotorfinger" Soundgarden song.  The chorus just goes in.  And then on the second listen, you start to notice that the riff and the verses are great set ups for this fist pumping anthem.  And it manages to invoke this feeling while being on the slower side, so I think it deserves bonus points.  (Not literally, just an expression.  I should really think about what I type sometimes.)

"Loud Love": 4
"Nothingman": 3
"Hate To Feel": 2
"Dive": 1


Pearl Jam: 94
Alice In Chains: 69
Nirvana: 66
Soundgarden: 51

Hey, Soundgarden broke 50 points!  Considering there are almost 100 Matches left in this thing, they are definitely still in it.  Come on back for 029 tomorrow!


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