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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 072

Match 072:

Jerry Cantrell "Hurt A Long Time" (1998)
Nirvana "Aneurysm" (Live) (1991)
Pearl Jam "Grievance" (2000)
Soundgarden "Cold Bitch" (1991)

Is there such a thing as a grunge hair metal ballad?  This might be the closest thing I can think of to that.  It's so SAPPY.  Also, the perfect place to end it would have been at the 3:45 mark.  (It's 5:42).  Might be my least favorite song Jerry Cantrell ever had a hand in writing.  Even if it came from a place of earnestness...it's still really lame.  And the thing is, it could have been saved.  The hook, such as it is, of "Oh, oh, It's a bad dream (I've got only time)" isn't bad.  It's just not the hook for a lighter-wavey major key song about writing a suicide note for your family.  The subject matter does not work with the levels of saccharine on display.

"Aneurysm" was the big single from "Wishkah", and this is actually the first version of the song I'd heard.  This version has more aggro than the album track, given that the clean tone is a lot more loud and jagged for the ten seconds he even bothers to use it.  Recorded at the same County Fair place they did "Drain You", but a better performance.  This one has fire.

"Grievance" is like "Have You Ever?" from Incubus's "Morning View".  It's a morsel toward the back third of the album put there to reward the faithful for getting this far in an album that goes in a new direction.  It's got some of the rock-a-fire explosiveness of old PJ, but it's not so different from the rest of the material surrounding it that it would sound out of place.  It's a deft bit of trying to age gracefully, which this album does well enough.

I'm realizing now that I should've put this between "Badmotorfinger" and "Superunknown", because this is on the "Badmotorfinger" deluxe edition.  Whoops.  You can totally tell (not the least of which based on how high Chris Cornell is singing on this) this was from '90/'91.  It's a slow song, about half way between "Slaves & Bulldozers" and "Room A Thousand Years Wide".  Both the guitar and vocal harmonies are on point, layering a pseudo-Sabbath-y texture with choruses that sound somewhat hopeful in tone, if not in content.  It's a pretty solid song.

"Aneurysm" (Live): 4
"Cold Bitch": 3
"Grievance": 2
"Hurt A Long Time": 1

TOTALS:

Alice In Chains: 184
Pearl Jam: 183
Soundgarden: 182
Nirvana: 171

Nirvana is now as close to Alice In Chains as they were to Soundgarden yesterday.  Soundgarden is only one point behind Pearl Jam and Pearl Jam is only one point behind Alice In Chains.  The lead is for the taking!  Stay tuned...

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