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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 032

Match 032:

Alice In Chains "Nutshell" (1994)
Nirvana "Turnaround" (1992)
Pearl Jam "Bugs" (1994)
Soundgarden "Big Dumb Sex" (1989)

"Nutshell" also happens to be one of my all-time favorite Alice In Chains songs.  Come to think of it, "Jar Of Flies" is their most solid release.  They weren't dealing with the struggle to find their sound, they weren't trying to wash off a post-80's taint, nor did they have a broken handed drummer like they did on "Facelift".  This EP also isn't saddled with weaker deep cuts like "Dirt" was.  And unlike their self-titled album, they still had a direction, more so here than ever.  Again, Layne Staley fucking kills it, the solo is awesome, I've always identified with the lyrics...it's really well crafted.  A perfect generation of atmosphere: you feel the loneliness and the cold chill of staring down inevitability, and you want to cry along with the wail that's there instead of a refrain. It's a harrowing experience, but an incredible one.

"Turnaround" is a cover of Devo.  It's hard-charging and really goes to show how awesome Devo sounds when heavier bands cover them.  The album the original comes from was only ten years old when this was recorded, and twelve when "Incesticide" was released.  That's kind of weird to think about given "Incesticide" is 25 at the end of this year.

"Bugs" is where Pearl Jam drops the act and let you know they've completely lost their shit.  It's an incessant accordion line and a shaker, with Eddie Vedder sounding his most mentally disturbed.  This shit is freaky, but dumb, but kind of on purpose, so...why not?

"Big Dumb Sex" was definitely on purpose, and has the best chorus on "Louder Than Love".  It's also the reason the album has an explicit lyrics sticker.  When you drop all the innuendo in an era populated by "Cherry Pie"s and "I Want Action"s and you just say "Iiiiiii Know what to doooo / I'm gonna FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK YOU", you get something more than the thing you intended to parody.  It also helps that "Big Dumb Sex" is a better song than all of the hair metal garbage it was taking to task. 

"Nutshell": 4
"Big Dumb Sex": 3
"Turnaround": 2
"Bugs": 1

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 101
Alice In Chains: 85
Nirvana: 76
Soundgarden: 58

Tomorrow, it's about time I gave you all the finger.  The "Badmotorfinger".  (Segues, motherfucker!)

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