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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 079

Match 079:

Alice In Chains "Bleed The Freak" (Demo) (1988)
Nirvana "Heart-Shaped Box" (Live) (1993)
Pearl Jam "Love Boat Captain" (2002)
Soundgarden "Blow Up The Outside World" (1996)

"Bleed The Freak" from 1988 is more brisk than the original and lots more "eeeeee" instead of "eaaaaaayyy" in the pronunciations.  It makes it slightly less cool than the "Facelift" version, but it's actually quite close to it in production sound, though maybe a little more Ozzy Osbourne circa "No More Tears".  An interesting artifact, if nothing else.

Considering this is three months before their last live performance, this is a surprisingly lively version of a song that was never very lively to begin with.  It has pacing issues, which is unthinkable with Dave Grohl behind the kit, but even in spite of that, this is a solid performance of "Heart-Shaped Box", certainly far more solid than I expected coming two days before 1994.

"Love Boat Captain" was the fourth and final official single from "Riot Act", released on February 18, 2003.  It has a video, shot at the same club as the other music videos from this album, but with a different color scheme ("Save You" was blue and fuck annoying light in your face, this one's red.)  It's got an organ in it from co-writer Boom Gaspar.

Here's the thing.  This is a good song.  It didn't blow me away, but I liked it.  I have never heard it before, and I don't know when I'll hear it again.  If I did, in spite of hearing it one and a half times just now, I may not be able to pick it out of a lineup.  But I feel like it's better than that somehow.  I feel like if I'd heard it as track three of "Riot Act" instead of "79th Pearl Jam song", I would've appreciated it more.  Context matters.  Still, it's good; it's got that goin' for it.

"Blow Up The Outside World" had an uphill battle to get on my good side.  Combine Soundgarden fatigue with a shitty-looking video ripping off A Clockwork Orange and that I already disliked the first two singles off this album for being too soft, and it took years before I even gave "Blow Up" a chance.  That being said, context comes into play again.  It's a better listen as part of an album as opposed to an individual song.  As an individual song, it's kind of a slog.  It's six minutes, it's kinda boring, it's got a catchy hook, but man.  I just don't know.

"Bleed The Freak" (Demo): 4
"Blow Up The Outside World": 3
"Heart-Shaped Box" (Live): 2
"Love Boat Captain": 1

I know this is totally based on my opinion so...how come I'm not happy with those scores?  None of them seem right.  Eh, best I could do.  Call this one a compromise.

TOTALS:

Alice In Chains: 208
Soundgarden: 205
Pearl Jam: 195
Nirvana: 182

The saga continues...

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