Skip to main content


Match 068:

Jerry Cantrell "Jesus Hands" (1998)
Nirvana "All Apologies" (Unplugged) (1994)
Pearl Jam "Nothing As It Seems" (2000)
Soundgarden "Like Suicide" (Acoustic Version) (1995)

"Jesus Hands" tells us right off the bat we're in for a morose matchup, repeating the same clean Eb arpeggio over and over with barely there vocal accompaniment.  The chorus is fine, but it sounds like cut rate Alice In Chains.  It really sounds like something scraped off the literal cutting room floor.  Then they go back to that incessant arpeggio, with drums this time.  It's not the worst song in the world, and it doesn't get on my nerves nearly as much as this description may make you think it does, but it's certainly nothing to write home about.

"All Apologies" revisits the same eerie, ret-conned to super important ground that we covered back in Matchup 054, but this time it's on an album released after Kurt Cobain's death and recorded on a stage he specifically directed to be done up like a funeral.  Make of that what you will; it sure as shit got heavy rotation in the wake know.

There's not a whole lot of difference between the mellow and electric versions, other than I like this song better when it rocks and Cobain is a little more strained vocally at this point in the performance.  Trying to hit those Meat Puppets high notes would fuck up a lot of people so eh.

Aaaand "Nothing As It Seems" is a dirge too.  Seriously, the unplugged version of "All Apologies" is the most upbeat song we have today.  "Nothing As It Seems" is simple, but it stays on message.  Though now that I look at the lyrics, it's mostly a rhyming exercise to see how many things rhyme with "phone".  This slow burning pile of dreck that wears out its welcome by the halfway mark was the first single off "Binaural" according to Genius.  Never heard it on the radio, and there's a reason.

In another creepy coincidence, "Like Suicide" rounds out the match with Kurt Cobain's "swansong", a song called "Jesus Hands" and a graveyard trek that rhymes with the word "methodone".  This version has enough interesting differences from the original to justify its existence: It's got dueling twelve strings, no bass or drums and Chris Cornell stays in the mid to low range that he begins both versions with.  The only thing that weirded me out is there's some sound subliminally mixed into the track, and because it's not playing on the beat it sounds like someone's playing on their phone or something, which can't be the case because this was tracked 23 years ago.  It's annoying and I wish I could unhear it.  Other than that, this is proof positive it's a crime Soundgarden is the only band out of the four that never got an "Unplugged" special.

"Like Suicide" (Acoustic): 4
"All Apologies" (Unplugged): 3
"Jesus Hands": 2
"Nothing As It Seems": 1


Alice In Chains: 178
Soundgarden: 174
Pearl Jam: 171
Nirvana: 157

Soundgarden creates some space between itself and Pearl Jam while catching up a bit to Alice In Chains.  Nirvana scores some much needed points to claw ever closer to Pearl Jam.  The fight continues in Matchup 069!  (Huhhuhuhuhuhuhh  Yeah, hehnhenhhenhhenh.  Sixty Nine.)


Popular posts from this blog


Funny thing happened on the way to this review: I went to listen to some music while proofreading and noticed some new Eminem.  And holy shit it was a whole new album.  I just finished writing the rest of this, and now I had to turn around and put together a hot take before a WikiPedia page went up (as of writing: still on schedule!).  So here are my fumbling thoughts on:

Eminem "Kamikaze" *** and 2/3

The first three songs are TIGHT AS FUCK.  If you have ever wondered what the big deal is about this Eminem guy and aren't into rap, listen to the first three songs on this and bask in the insane acrobatics.  His speed is on android playing the knife game from Aliens level.  Even if the lyrics are...insecure.  To say the least.

To be fair, the first three songs get more visceral and in charge of themselves as they go along, but halfway through "The Ringer" you start to wonder if this is gonna be a whine fest about how much people thought "Revival" sucked. …


Welcome to the Top Albums of 2018.  This was the hardest list I've ever had to compile's the longest list I've ever had to compile.  Factoring in the 34 albums I didn't get to, there's 134 to consider.  That's about 30 more than the previous record of 2012.  I realized months ago I'd have to abandon the rule of "Only count albums I've listened to twice", because most of the countdown would disappear.

So, to narrow it down a bit, I've made some changes: Obviously, I can't rank an album I haven't heard, so that's 34 off the top.  That still leaves us with 100.  Last year, I said EPs shorter than 15 minutes don't make it, but that still leaves us with 95.

Back in 2016, I kind of bullshat the countdown and instead of numbering things, I piled them into several layers of strata: The worst of the worst, the ones with one or two good songs, the okay shit, the good shit and the really good shit.  2018 is muuuuuch bett…

MUSIC REVIEWS: Sophie, Hannah Diamond, The Brash Menagerie, Beach House & MC Lars

Hey, y'all.  Managed to cobble together some more opinions on the musics and such.  Let's see what listening to albums has done to my brain-to-word connectivity this week!

Ratings are like this:
0 Stars: Utter Shit
* Star: Had at least one redeeming thing about it, but definitely not my thing
** Stars: Meh.  Maybe a thing or two I liked, but definitely coulda been worse.
***: A Good Album.
****: A Great Album.
*****: Absolutely fucking incredible.  (Almost impossible to achieve.)

Sophie "Oil Of Every Pear's Un-Insides" *** and 1/4

Starts with a relaxing, reassuring song "It's Okay To Cry", which gets jarring out of nowhere at the end.  Which seemed needless, but then "Ponyboy" slams into the picture and I see what she was doing there: Dialating your sphincter for the unholy beating your asshole is about to endure.

This album is jagged; it's harsh; it's repellent; it's brutal; but most importantly: it's interesting.  It's…