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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 094

Match 094:

Alice In Chains "Love, Hate, Love" (Live) (1993)
Nirvana "Raunchola (aka: Erectum) / Moby Dick" (1988)
Pearl Jam "Comatose" (2006)
Soundgarden "Been Away Too Long" (2012)

This version of "Love, Hate, Love" is from the same Glasgow show of the previous two entries.  It sounds like the band is being too cautious with their dynamics going into the song, like they're trying desperately to come down off the high of "Man In The Box" and play this really slow, atmospheric piece.  They get there by the first chorus, but it's a bit of a struggle for restraint.  As a result the pace is kind of all over the place during the verses.  It's still powerful, but not an improvement on the album version like the song before it.

"Raunchola" is a bootleg live recording from January 1988.  It has some spastic bass line, some bullshit guitar chord that sounds once a measure, then a Dead Milkmen style punk chorus completely smashed to death by some SERIOUS power chords for about two measures.  For real, those two measures should be expanded into their own song; they had no business being stuck forever in this dreck.  Then of course, after two minutes they play the shittiest version of Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick" you've ever heard in your life.  Frustrating all around.

"Comatose" is mercifully short compared to today's first two songs.  It actually reminds me a bit of "Spin The Black Circle".  It's got some weird post-chorus dissonant dueling guitar leads that come out of nowhere, but it sounds more like an upbeat version of the paranoid and agro "Spin".  It's also got a short solo (two measures) with some shredding.  An odd little bird.

"Been Away Too Long" is the leadoff track and the too-self-aware comeback single from Soundgarden's late 2012 album "King Animal".  As of this writing, this album isn't even five years old; you could almost call it contemporary.  Thing is, as far as comebacks go, this was NOT the foot they wanted to lead with.  In spite of a bridge way more interesting than this song warrants, "Been Away Too Long" is the definition of underwhelming.

Still, it's sort of catchy, I guess, and "Comatose" is it's only competition...Can I really give this thing a 4?  Nah.  On second listen, Pearl Jam is worthy.

"Comatose": 4
"Been Away Too Long": 3
"Love, Hate, Love" (Live): 2
"Raunchola (aka: Erectum) / Moby Dick": 1

TOTALS:

Alice In Chains: 247
Soundgarden: 247
Pearl Jam: 231
Nirvana: 215

Another day, another tie.  Now that Soundgarden is firmly in the new millennium, we'll see how this plays out (speaking of albums I only ever listened to once...)

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