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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 066

Match 066:

Jerry Cantrell "Settling Down" (1998)
Nirvana "Oh, Me" (Unplugged) (1994)
Pearl Jam "Evacuation" (2000)
Soundgarden "Kyle Petty, Son Of Richard" (1995)

"Settling Down" evokes an embarrassing bit of nostalgia for me: The first time I heard it, I was trying to get over my first unrequited crush.  So the line "Youthful dreams you'd be my wife [...] If there never is again, you were the one" vibed with me down to my wannabe romantic core.  Ah, youth.

As a song, it's a different animal than most of the songs I've reviewed thusfar.  It's got a fretless bass and piano that do most of the heavy lifting.  I wasn't sure the guitars in the verses were even there until I paid attention.  It's kinda melodramatic, but if you're in the mood for more downtempo, orchestrated faire, this is pretty good.

"Oh Me" is another Meat Puppets song featuring the Meat Puppets.  Of the three they did on this special, this is the one I never heard on the radio.  This version is all about space: there are times between vocal lines and chords where Dave Grohl lightly hitting the hi-hat is the most dominant sound to be heard (a sound that could have been over-shadowed by a pin drop).  It's got lots of pretty arpeggios and keeps an even keel, though walks a tightrope between chill and dirge and threatens to fall off on both sides at one point or another.

"Evacuation" has some of the vocal fire I didn't think Eddie Vedder was capable of at this point, though mojo'd through a few lesser permutations to make it work with the reality that was his esophagus circa 2000.  This is also the closest Pearl Jam have gotten to 3:00 so far on "Binaurial" (this was 2:56).  It's got some weird chords, which is usually easy to do when in B.  On the whole, a less fiery version of how the band used to do, but still doing it well enough to be worth hearing.

I remember fucking HATING "Kyle Petty, Son Of Richard" when I first heard it.  I hated the megaphone effect on Chris Cornell's voice, the way he screamed on this song was atrocious, the vocals are dumb and the title is STUPID.  Now, I think the whole thing is kind of rad.  It deserved to be a B-Side, no question there, but I dig the solo, the drums is slammin', and most importantly, DAT RIFF THO.

"Kyle Petty, Son Of Richard": 4
"Settling Down": 3
"Evacuation": 2
"Oh Me" (Unplugged): 1

TOTALS:

Alice In Chains: 174
Soundgarden: 169
Pearl Jam: 167
Nirvana: 150

All bands are above the 150 mark at last.  Onward and upward!

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