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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.

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