Skip to main content

THE GRUNGE MATCH - 075

Match 075:

Alice In Chains "Get Born Again" (1999)
Nirvana "Lithium" (Live) (1991)
Pearl Jam "Soon Forget" (2000)
Soundgarden "Rhinosaur" (1996)

"Get Born Again" is the last single Alice In Chains released with Layne Staley.  The song is more "Dirt" than anything they've done since.  In fact, it's more accurate to say it's like a darker "What The Hell Have I?" from the Last Action Hero soundtrack.  At the time it felt like a tantalizing hint at a new beginning, but alas it was not to be.  The only real criticism of the song is the production feels a little flat, a little dimensionless, but other than that, this is a lost classic in the Alice In Chains oeuvre.

This version of "Lithium" sounds like it's on either a pop station or a shitty cassette tape, because it's in E# without quite making it to F.  As a result of playing it in such a high key, Cobain's vocals suffer.  Seriously, it's like they're out of tune but threw a capo on and said fuck it, let's go.  At least it's got energy?

"Soon Forget" is the first Eddie Vedder solo ukulele tune, sounding like a slightly more foul-mouthed Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.  Not much to report, other than it's...okay, I guess.

"Rhinosaur" was the B-Side to Soundgarden's final pre-breakup single "Ty Cobb".  It is definitely an exercise in restraint compared to their prior material.  It's like everything is an octave too high, but there are hints of the bite it could have had if they weren't experimenting at the time.  It's still a well crafted pop rock song, in spite of its bizarre time shifts and out of nowhere double time out of control solo section.  Decent enough, I'd say.

"Get Born Again": 4
"Rhinosaur": 3
"Soon Forget": 2
"Lithium" (Live): 1

TOTALS:

Alice In Chains: 193
Soundgarden: 192
Pearl Jam: 190
Nirvana: 175

Separation is starting to take shape.  Alice In Chains has reclaimed the lead from once-permanent cellar-dwellers Soundgarden, though Soundgarden has managed to gain the smallest measure of breathing room from Pearl Jam at 2 points.  Nirvana seems to be hitting a slump with a few bum versions of old favorites, but hopefully that will turn around soon.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Update Wrap-Up

Well, The Big Four Song Challenge Series Update has drawn to a close, and here we are in the aftermath.  Metallica edged out Megadeth on the strength of bonus material, Anthrax did okay and Slayer should have broken up when Jeff Hanneman died.  For real, all coming back with another album did for them was...well, make them money and allow them to keep touring and making more money, so there's that.  But more importantly, by releasing "Repentless", they dropped from two to three on my completely arbitrary opinion based blog series status ranking system!  Surely, that can't have been worth a couple million bucks?

Anyhow, I'm getting the feeling that rock music in general is going to need to evolve into something completely different or call it quits altogether.  Rock has had its 60 year run just like jazz did before it, and if it doesn't come up with something soon, it will fade away from the public consciousness, only to return in Gap commercials in the 2040…

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…

THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 185

Anthrax "Vice Of The People" (2016) VS Megadeth "Melt The Ice Away" (2016) VS Metallica "When A Blind Man Cries" (2016) VS Slayer "Pride In Prejudice" (2015)

"Vice Of The People" is the Japanese bonus track for "For All Kings".  Aaaand it starts with that doofy march beat.  Wonderful.  The lyrics don't do it any favors in the "I should take this seriously" department either.  And like most of the songs I've slagged in this Update process, it's not bad.  It's just so "...whatever."

"Melt The Ice Away" is a Budgie cover that was the Spotify exclusive bonus track for "Dystopia".  It's funny how the original Budgie tracks are often much softer than the bands that cover them and turn them into fucking barnburners.  This song sounds a little goofy in the vocals and lyrics department, but knowing it's a Budgie song, it totally gets a pass.  And unlike some covers of Budgi…