Skip to main content

THE GRUNGE MATCH - 031

Match 031:

Alice In Chains "Rotten Apple" (1994)
Nirvana "Been A Son" (1992)
Pearl Jam "Corduroy" (1994)
Soundgarden "Uncovered" (1989)

"Rotten Apple" set the tone of "Jar Of Flies" perfectly.  It's primarily an acoustic EP heavy on atmosphere and harmony.  Just with the line "Hey ah nah nah" Layne Staley evokes magic on the listener.  He casts the proper spell.  This is not the same darkness of "Dirt"; this is much more real.  It gets to the heart of the matter, looks it right in the eye and assesses: We are in trouble.  Whereas "Dirt" has incredibly nihilistic themes, it has a layer of bravado that comes with distorted guitars and drug use.  There are moments where it cuts the shit and gets real, even when being aggressive, but "Jar Of Flies" is the band's collective strife lain bare.  And "Rotten Apple" is the perfect overture for this experience.

"Been A Son" is upbeat in a way most Nirvana songs don't quite manage.  It's major key, it's bouncy, it's almost happy.  It's kind of like the tough guy trying not to crack a smile, but managing to hold it to a smirk.  And it's also got a distorted bass lead from Krist Novaselic that's short but sweet.

"Corduroy" is one of the better songs on "Vitalogy", even if I don't really know what the hell it's about.  The lyrics have always seemed like free-association nonsense to me, but because they're rock lyrics, they manage to work.  (And don't think I didn't notice that in the bridge Vedder says "Everything has changed" or "chains", slurring the end of the word to try and say both at the same time.  The meaning is deliberately cryptic, yet probably about the record company or fame or some damn thing.  They were big on writing songs about that around this time.)  The last minute and a half of the song always gets me pumped, when it comes back in and instead of a last verse, it just keeps hammering that main theme.  Good stuff.

"Uncovering" is a song that I couldn't pick out of a lineup.  When I was writing the outro to yesterday's matchup, I almost said today was going to be the last entry for "Louder Than Love", because I forgot "Uncovering" existed.  Hearing the song play out, it's a bit of a snoozer.  I was ready for the end, but then I realized it had two and a half more minutes to go.  No thank you.

"Rotten Apple": 4
"Corduroy": 3
"Been A Son": 2
"Uncovering": 1

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 100
Alice In Chains: 81
Nirvana: 74
Soundgarden: 55

Whelp, Pearl Jam hit the century mark, though Alice In Chains gained a little ground on them.  We still have ninety some odd matchups to go, and tomorrow is the grand finale for "Louder Than Love".  And what a finale it shall be.

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…