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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 096

Match 096:

Alice In Chains "Would?" (Live) (1993)
Nirvana "Don't Want It All (aka Seed)" (1986-88)
Pearl Jam "Marker In The Sand" (2006)
Soundgarden "By Crooked Steps" (2012)

The live version of "Would?" is more like the demo than the finished "Dirt" one, opting for a tenuous, even cautious pace, and it sucks some of the life out of the song.  Also, they don't quite capture the vocal magic, which would have been hard live anyway, but eh.  It all comes off a tad milquetoast.

"Don't Want It All" sounds like a lot of teenagers' first attempt to write something brooding and dark with shitty recording implements.  It's nothing special in this form, but even then, in the right hands, this could've been something approaching half as good as "Would?" with some re-arranging and decent production.

"Marker In The Sand" has kind of a surf vibe to start off, so points for staying on theme.  It's not spectacular, but so far I've gotta say "Pearl Jam" is a gem I had no idea was sitting on my hard drive lo these eight years since I even gave it the time of day.  (I probably shouldn't have said that, since we're only five songs in, though.)  At first, I was kind of "eh" on it for being half time, but then it finally kicks into gear for the third verse, and really it wouldn't have been as good a moment sooner.  It really captures the feel of a day at the beach (says a writer who doesn't go to the beach).

"By Crooked Steps" is the best song on "King Animal" so far, but it still feels neutered compared to their earlier material.  I think that's the problem.  It's not a bad song; in fact it's quite nice for a pseudo-Zeppelin 2/4-6/4 split, but it doesn't ROCK as much as it should.  It sounds like this should bang but...it just doesn't.  And it almost does...almost...and that's what makes it so frustrating.  Still, it's close enough to a decent Soundgarden song, so...

"By Crooked Steps": 4
"Marker In The Sand": 3
"Would?": 2
"Don't Want It All": 1

TOTALS:

Soundgarden: 255
Alice In Chains: 251
Pearl Jam: 238
Nirvana: 217

Come back tomorrow to see what.  Goes.  On.  (Welllll....)

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