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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 088

Match 088:

Alice In Chains "Again" (Tatoo Of Pain Mix) (1996)
Nirvana "Anorexorcist" (1987)
Pearl Jam "Bu$hleaguer" (2002)
Soundgarden "An Unkind" (1996)

Oh dear God.  This is the most cringeworthy 90's thing you could imagine.  An industrial techno remix of "Again".  It's...it's just the worst.

"Anorexorcist" is from a radio session for KAOS 89.3 FM in Olympia, WA, recorded on May 6, 1987, two months after their first show.  It's pretty good by "local band just formed and figuring out what we're doing" standards.  It's got some real teeth; even the use of guitar noise seems mostly intentional, which is not something all guitarists pick up on.  It's even got a groove.  I was not expecting to like this nearly as much as I do.

"Bu$hleaguer" is a pretentious anti-Bush protest song.  The problem isn't with the message, but with the fact that the vocals are free-form spoken word with a milquetoast chorus that doesn't really mesh with what they're trying to say.  Come to think of it, the message is kind of lost in the attempt to make it sound lofty.  This really falls on its face, which is unfortunate because it came out at a time when we needed dissenting voices in the leadup to the Iraq war and the only notable example was the Dixie Chicks, who's career ended because of it.  The song fades out after the second chorus instead of even trying to do a middle section or a third verse, much like the resistance to Bush fizzled out before it could begin.

"An Unkind" is uncharacteristic for "Down On The Upside"; it has a quick tempo and a shit hot guitar riff for the verse.  The chorus soars pretty high considering there's not a lot of room to build (or breathe).  Two minutes almost on the nose, and this tasty little morsel peaces out.  And you know what?  That's perfectly fine.

"An Unkind": 4
"Anorexorcist": 3
"Bu$hleaguer": 2 (I wish I could give it a 1)
"Again" (Tatoo Of Pain Remix): 1 (I wish I could give it a 0)

TOTALS:

Alice In Chains: 233
Soundgarden: 232
Pearl Jam: 212
Nirvana: 203

Wow.  Did not realize that Soundgarden was 20 ahead of Pearl Jam.  They're also back to within one point of the lead.  Tomorrow we see the end of "Down On The Upside", "Music Bank", and Layne Staley's studio recording career.  It's gonna be morose.

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