Skip to main content

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...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE GRUNGE MATCH - Conclusion

This has certainly been a heck of a thing.

Writing this started out as a labor of love to a subgenre of rock and roll that came along at the perfect time for me (both when I was entering middle school in the bottom 5 of the popularity pecking order and when I started buying albums at the impressionable age of 11).  It obviously took a long time to put together: August 29th, 2016 is when I began planning, May 24th is when I wrote the last entry, the wee hours of August 1st, 2017 is when I finished proofreading and uploading the entries to the blog with video links, and here I am typing these words on August 15th.

The elephant in the room is this genre seems to be built on death.  Three of the four frontmen of these bands are dead, one of which occurred during the run of this series.  (Shouts to Alice In Chains bassist Mike Starr as well.  R.I.P.)  On top of that, Pearl Jam only exists because the lead singer of Mother Love Bone died, causing that band to break up.  If you go down the nex…

R.I.P. Chris Cornell

The Grunge Match is suspended indefinitely.

I don't know when it will resume.  This hits way too close to home for way too many reasons.

As far as writing goes, I just did Match 112 Tuesday night.  I have no interest in going back through and making this a love letter to the departed, nor bashing him for tearing our hearts out.  I have no idea when I'll be able to even listen to Soundgarden again, and when I do, it won't be the fucking same so there's no way I can give any kind of objective rating.  Chris Cornell was the soul of that band, the thing that took sludge with a few acrobatic musical flourishes and made it into the hellfire slinging, metal rending monster that it needed to be.

So yeah.  This one hurts.  The man is dead.  The music remains, but is changed forever.  His friends, family and fans are suffering incalculable grief.  There's not much more to say, so silence seems like the best option.

THE NEXT FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 001

Since dusting off The Big Four Song Challenge Series I got to thinking.  What about the other thrash metal giants out there?  There's always been a debate as to who the next four bands would be on the list.  The two constants are always Testament and Exodus, but nobody can agree who's 5 and who's 6.  Then nobody can agree on who the next two bands would be.  Overkill gets thrown around a lot, but they're not really as big as the two bands I've chosen to fill those slots.

Oh yeah.  Probably should have mentioned.  Though you've probably guessed by the blog post title, I am doing a completely new series of blogs called "The Next Four Song Challenge Series".  Same rules, same set up as before and same INSANE amount of blog posts.  The four bands we're going to be covering are as follows:

Exodus
Testament
Sepultura
Suicidal Tendencies

Why not Overkill?  For one, I could never stand the guy's voice, but all told, Sepultura and Suicidal are bigger h…