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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 071

Match 071:

Jerry Cantrell "Satisfy" (1998)
Nirvana "Drain You" (Live) (1991)
Pearl Jam "Of The Girl" (2000)
Soundgarden "Ruff Riff-Raff" (1994)

The beginning of "Satisfy" threatens an even lower frequency on the sad bastard band than "Breaks My Back" or the rest of "Boggy Depot", and the verses are indeed a slog.  The chorus is a bit tepid, but has some life to it and at least the song is under four minutes.  It may drag for the vast majority of its span, but at least it doesn't drag on.  God this song is boring.

They're playing "Drain You" in a key too high for Kurt Cobain to sing properly.  Other than that it's a passable yet forgettable rendition of the original.  A different energy, which can work to a performance's advantage, but the more polished album version is certainly better.  This was recorded at some fairground in California in a 3,500 seat theater mere days before they overthrew Michael Jackson from the #1 spot on Billboard, literally on the cusp of their (and their genre's) arrival in the mainstream.  (Man, I could write for Rolling Stone...yuck!)

PJ have gone back to the acoustics again, this time to create a dreamier atmosphere with 12-strings, but also a pulse.  That pulse builds into tribal drums and some shit hot blues licks.  Vedder more implies the vocals than delivers them, and the effect is really cool.  This is my favorite song on "Binaural" so far by a mile.  Throw in a deep bass line for good measure, and you've got yourself quite the pleasant surprise.

Speaking of pleasant surprises, "Ruff Riff-Raff" almost sounds like a real song.  Stylistically somewhere between "Superunknown" and "Down On The Upside".  Also, IT'S NOT TRYING TO BE FUNNY.  It's a solid little instrumental jam.  A few Soundgarden-isms to let you know exactly who did this, and call it a day.  I like this one.

"Of The Girl": 4
"Ruff Riff-Raff": 3
"Drain You" (Live): 2
"Satisfy": 1

TOTALS:

Alice In Chains: 183
Pearl Jam: 181
Soundgarden: 179
Nirvana: 167

Pearl Jam is threatening to re-take the throne and Soundgarden stopped their free-fall.  This should continue going forward, as only two more songs remain before "Down On The Upside" kicks in, and one of them is for sure a real song (maybe both).  We'll see what happens.

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