Skip to main content

THE GRUNGE MATCH - 102

Match 102:

Alice In Chains "A Little Bitter" (Live) (1996)
Nirvana "Ain't It A Shame" (1989)
Pearl Jam "Army Reserve" (2006)
Soundgarden "Black Saturday" (2012)

I'm genuinely shocked to hear "A Little Bitter" in a live setting.  It was the other "Last Action Hero" song, the cult classic.  The Alice In Chains deep cut of deep cuts.  And given the state of the band and the kind of bland recording style of these live shows, this is still passionate.  This still, with all its flaws, has balls.

"Ain't It A Shame" is the only song The Jury did that's worth hearing.  It sounds like an aggro version of the Jackass theme.  Cobain goes in on this one.  And that drummer's nuckin' futs too.  You wanna talk about fire, this is like taking a bath in everclear.

Pearl Jam takes a more funk tinged, mid-70's Stones ballad approach with "Army Reserve".  The chorus reminds me of earlier Pearl Jam, but only by the faintest echo.  In fact, I like the guitar line of the verse so much, I wish it wasn't in a Pearl Jam song but in some other band I'd never heard of.  It would be the song by that band that grabbed my attention and made me a fan.  But instead, with all the trappings of being a PJ song, it's kind of middle of the road.

"Black Sunday" continues a slew of slower numbers from "King Animal", and much like "Taree", Chris Cornell actually saves an average song with a few good ideas by dragging it kicking and screaming over the hump with his vocal delivery.  It's an exercise in restraint in every aspect, but it manages to have passages that make your head nod in appreciation, pathos in its emoting and a pleasant surprise to exit the chorus each time and conclude the song.

"Black Sunday": 4
"Ain't It A Shame": 3
"A Little Bitter" (Live): 2
"Army Reserve": 1

TOTALS:

Soundgarden: 278
Alice In Chains: 262
Pearl Jam: 253
Nirvana: 227

Tomorrow is the last song of the Alice In Chains "Live" album, after which things go black then give way to blue.  (I dunno.  Being clever is hard after 102 of these.)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE GRUNGE MATCH - Conclusion

This has certainly been a heck of a thing.

Writing this started out as a labor of love to a subgenre of rock and roll that came along at the perfect time for me (both when I was entering middle school in the bottom 5 of the popularity pecking order and when I started buying albums at the impressionable age of 11).  It obviously took a long time to put together: August 29th, 2016 is when I began planning, May 24th is when I wrote the last entry, the wee hours of August 1st, 2017 is when I finished proofreading and uploading the entries to the blog with video links, and here I am typing these words on August 15th.

The elephant in the room is this genre seems to be built on death.  Three of the four frontmen of these bands are dead, one of which occurred during the run of this series.  (Shouts to Alice In Chains bassist Mike Starr as well.  R.I.P.)  On top of that, Pearl Jam only exists because the lead singer of Mother Love Bone died, causing that band to break up.  If you go down the nex…

R.I.P. Chris Cornell

The Grunge Match is suspended indefinitely.

I don't know when it will resume.  This hits way too close to home for way too many reasons.

As far as writing goes, I just did Match 112 Tuesday night.  I have no interest in going back through and making this a love letter to the departed, nor bashing him for tearing our hearts out.  I have no idea when I'll be able to even listen to Soundgarden again, and when I do, it won't be the fucking same so there's no way I can give any kind of objective rating.  Chris Cornell was the soul of that band, the thing that took sludge with a few acrobatic musical flourishes and made it into the hellfire slinging, metal rending monster that it needed to be.

So yeah.  This one hurts.  The man is dead.  The music remains, but is changed forever.  His friends, family and fans are suffering incalculable grief.  There's not much more to say, so silence seems like the best option.

THE NEXT FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 001

Since dusting off The Big Four Song Challenge Series I got to thinking.  What about the other thrash metal giants out there?  There's always been a debate as to who the next four bands would be on the list.  The two constants are always Testament and Exodus, but nobody can agree who's 5 and who's 6.  Then nobody can agree on who the next two bands would be.  Overkill gets thrown around a lot, but they're not really as big as the two bands I've chosen to fill those slots.

Oh yeah.  Probably should have mentioned.  Though you've probably guessed by the blog post title, I am doing a completely new series of blogs called "The Next Four Song Challenge Series".  Same rules, same set up as before and same INSANE amount of blog posts.  The four bands we're going to be covering are as follows:

Exodus
Testament
Sepultura
Suicidal Tendencies

Why not Overkill?  For one, I could never stand the guy's voice, but all told, Sepultura and Suicidal are bigger h…