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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 078

Match 078:

Alice In Chains "Social Parasite" (1988)
Nirvana "Scentless Apprentice" (Live) (1993)
Pearl Jam "Save You" (2002)
Soundgarden "Ty Cobb" (1996)

"Social Parasite" has an unassuming start.  It makes me think of Brother Cane or some shit.  It's pretty mid-90's alternative, which is impressive since it's from seven years before that.  The pre-chorus and chorus are honey to the ears of a long time listener of hard rock.  Damn, heroin ruined this band.  I mean, it made them fucking immortal millionaires too, but the vim and vigor they had at the beginning to go with the songwriting chops they got later?  Oh, what could've been...

This live version of "Scentless Apprentice" is a bit rushed and in person you hear how much Steve Albini added to this thing.  It's still kinda slammin', but it's about 70% of the "In Utero" one.  Then again, it's still "Scentless Apprentice", which is one of Nirvana's best songs, so hey.

"Save You" has an honest to God music video!  Pearl Jam only made one official music video in the intervening ten years since "Jeremy" ("Do The Evolution" in 1998), and this wasn't even the first video released from "Riot Act"!  Of course, it has hella lens flare and is edited for language, so fuck that!

As a track two, "Save You" is well placed because it has that "as fast paced as Pearl Jam usually gets" speed to it to get you ready for some rock shit.  It's kind of S.O.P. in that regard except for the hushed third verse which really helps make the fiery conclusion that much more passionate.  Hooray for contrast (except in the video; fuck that shit).

"Ty Cobb" starts in a manor...out of left field (BOO!).  It's a meandering mandolin riff and like a random drum or cymbal hit or two, then BAM the fastest song they've done since "Face Pollution".  I'm not really surprised this didn't get airplay as a single, since the chorus is an unending string of F-Bombs.  It's a hard-charging song whose power is undercut slightly by the continued mandolin underneath.  During some parts it's endearing, but it needs to lay out for others and doesn't.  Still, cool shit.

"Social Parasite": 4
"Ty Cobb": 3
"Scentless Apprentice" (Live): 2
"Save You": 1

TOTALS:

Alice In Chains: 204
Soundgarden: 202
Pearl Jam: 194
Nirvana: 180

Alice In Chains starts to pull away a little while Soundgarden continues to distance themselves from Pearl Jam by joining the 200 club.  Nirvana holds steady.  On to the next one.

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