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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 081

Match 081:

Alice In Chains "Sea Of Sorrow" (Demo) (1988)
Nirvana "Negative Creep" (Live) (1991)
Pearl Jam "Ghost" (2002)
Soundgarden "Never Named" (1996)

I actually like this version better than the "Facelift" one.  It's better produced than the overly-stylized Dave Jerden .  Sure, the 1990 one sounds more like an Alice In Chains song, but this kicks it up an extra notch the other one didn't have.  (It also helps that Sean Kinney wasn't tracking drums with a broken hand.)

This performance of "Negative Creep" was recorded on Halloween 1991 at the Paramount Theater in Seattle by Andy Wallace, and holy shit can you tell Wallace was in on this: This has SO much body to it.  It might be the best sounding recording on "Wishkah".  The song is already a sledgehammer so, the detuned, feedback laden, bass-soaked maelstrom we get here is better than the "Bleach" version.

"Ghost" is another sign post on the continuing highway of Pearl Jam fatigue I seem to be hitting.  It's got a nice chorus that tries to make it distinguishable from other album tracks, and a octavated lead after it that adds some flavor.  The solo's pretty fiery too.  As the song picks up steam, it shakes off the "stock" feel it starts with.  It finds itself.

"Never Named" is about looking back on childhood.  It's one of the shorter, brisker songs on "Down On The Upside", imbued with more attitude than usual, yet still softer in edge than you'd expect from SG.  It's good enough to get your blood pumping.

"Sea Of Sorrow" (Demo): 4
"Negative Creep": 3
"Never Named": 2
"Ghost": 1

TOTALS:

Alice In Chains: 215
Soundgarden: 211
Pearl Jam: 197
Nirvana: 187

Damn, Pearl Jam can not catch a break.  I genuinely enjoyed "Ghost".  And who knew Alice In Chains would be killing it with Boxed Set material?  I didn't see that coming.  Nirvana pulls within 10 points of third place and Pearl Jam still can't manage to claw its way over the 200 mark.  The "Facelift" era demos are over, but there are at least two tasty nuggets from the "Dirt" demos, so nothing's for certain.  On to the next one!

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