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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 045

Match 045:

Alice In Chains "God Am" (1995)
Nirvana "Heart-Shaped Box" (1993)
Pearl Jam "Red Mosquito" (1996)
Soundgarden "Into The Void (Sealth)" (1991)

"God Am" doesn't exactly inspire confidence by starting with the lighting of a bong.  It does add to the wobbly-legged atmosphere, with a slanted beat and slight psychedelia through a grunge lens.  The lyrics are of the less embarrassing variety for the back half of this album in spite of the clumsy attempt at trying to use "goddam" as "God Am", but hey, for someone who took a sick bong rip before this got started, that's probably the best they'll do.

"Heart-Shaped Box" is a song I've heard a million times, but I've been able to avoid for a decent number of years now.  Last time I heard it, I think I was playing Guitar Hero II.  The lyrics are the kind of gibberish that fooled Gavin Rosdale into thinking he could be a poet and their delivery is...okay, I guess?  The riffs are nothing to write home about and the solo isn't a solo at all; it's barely a lead.  But the song is still effective because that chorus slams.  Cobain knew how to build tension effectively.  But all in all it's kind of meh.

"Red Mosquito" is a bluesy, major key waltz number that makes me visualize a band member motioning "Come on!" as they smile at a festival crowd.  Ironically enough, the song is inspired by Eddie Vedder's food poisoning incident on the "Vitalogy" tour, which prevented him from being on stage to motion anything at a crowd.  It's a nice little song with acoustic verses and a more positive energy around it than most of what I've had to cover for The Grunge Match.  It's at this point that I'm starting to think "No Code" never got a fair shake.

"Into The Void (Sealth)" is a cover of Black Sabbath's song of the same name but with lyrics taken from a translation of Chief Seattle's speech about Manifest Destiny made while it was happening.  It's a passable cover, I mean it's "Badmotorfinger" era Soundgarden covering Black Sabbath; that's mentee paying homage to mentor.  It was also nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 1993 Grammys, so there's that.

Kinda slim pickin's today.  They can't all be winners.  But we do have one:

"Red Mosquito": 4
"Into The Void (Sealth)": 3
"God Am": 2
"Heart-Shaped Box": 1

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 130
Alice In Chains: 123
Nirvana: 101
Soundgarden: 98

Come back tomorrow for four songs that, just by looking at the titles, sound like some really creepy sex stuff is about to happen.  (But one of 'em is a Devo cover, so...is that better?  We'll see.)

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