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Match 105:

Alice In Chains "Check My Brain" (2009)
Nirvana "Opinion" (1990)
Pearl Jam "Gonna See My Friend" (2009)
Soundgarden "Eyelid's Mouth" (2012)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers made any band ever singing the word "California" ever again uncool to a painful degree circa 1999, so with that in mind, plus a lazy sounding riff, "Check My Brain" had a tough hill to climb for me to like it.  I eventually came around, because that bendy riff is actually nifty for how simple it is, but this song isn't nearly as fun as it was when I first heard it eight years ago.  It's still catchy and has life, but it's not as anthemic as I remember.  Time has sapped some of its strength and it doesn't punch like it used to.

"Opinion" is from almost exactly a year later than the previous session, emanating from The Boy Meets Girls show on KAOS 89.3 in Olympia, Washington.  It's a solo acoustic performance by Kurt Cobain.  The tape quality is compromised in parts, but it's in tact enough to not detract from the experience.  Cobain's voice is enough to detract from it though, and it being a less than two minute, half-baked idea doesn't help its case either.  This could've been something if polished, but even then it wouldn't have been one of Nirvana's better songs.

Holy shit, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains are in the same year for the first time.  Look at that.  Anyway, "Gonna See My Friend" is how the band chose to kick off their 2009 album "Backspacer".  It's as straight ahead a rocker as you can expect from Pearl Jam and unlike more of their generic early 00's upbeat faire, it actually rocks.  Especially in the chorus.  This song has some guts, which I was not expecting from "Backspacer".  I listened to samples of this album on iTunes when it came out and remembered being turned off by what I heard.  I never came back to any of it, and once the single disappeared off radio, that was it; I haven't heard anything from this album since.  If the rest of it is in this ballpark, Pearl Jam are gonna be in a good spot.  [side note: Pearl Jam sponsored a turtle in National Geographic's "Great Turtle Race" and they named it Backspacer.  So there's that.]

"Eyelid's Mouth" is a song dying to be heavier.  It's aching to be just a little more gritty.  It just needs a subtle push up the rock fader to make it bite more and they'd be set.  Instead, it's sort of frustrating.  It's a good, slightly slow groove but just doesn't go in as hard as it needs to.  The notes and even the playing are all absolutely correct, but something in the tone undercuts the attitude that would've made this song magnificent.  Just a little more distortion.  Some CRUNCH for God's sake!  You guys used to know how to do this!  Still, in spite of everything holding it back, "Eyelid's Mouth" is the most interesting song here.

"Eyelid's Mouth": 4
"Gonna See My Friend": 3
"Check My Brain": 2
"Opinion": 1


Soundgarden: 287
Alice In Chains: 269
Pearl Jam: 261
Nirvana: 233

Tomorrow is Soundgarden's last pure album track before we jump into the "Echo Of Miles" boxed set.  Can Pearl Jam keep pulling rabbits out of their hat and make a comeback?  Will Alice In Chains steady their ship?  Will Soundgarden's B-Side material be any good?  It's still (mostly) anybody's Match.


  1. I dunno man, 1:30 in the Pearl Jam, just turns into a mumble fest. Will tomorrow's post have an afterward about the Linkin Park situation?


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