Skip to main content

THE GRUNGE MATCH - 114

Match 114:

Alice In Chains "Black Gives Way To Blue" (2009)
Nirvana "Curmudgeon" (1992)
Pearl Jam "Force Of Nature" (2009)
Soundgarden "Live To Rise" (2012)

"Black Gives Way To Blue" is a piano ballad sendoff to this album, and in a way, Layne Staley.  With help from Elton John on the ivories, Alice In Chains tries with this piece to pay homage to and simultaneously move on from their former front man.  It's got pathos to it, especially in the piano line in the second verse.  It's a fitting end to an album that had to crawl out from an impossibly large shadow to earn its existence, and much like the life it honors, it ends abruptly.

"Curmudgeon" is a less good version of "Oh, The Guilt".  It's got the same attitude, but the execution isn't quite as sharp, and it's almost identical in structure.  But it's still got it's moments of brazen noise rock goodness.

For a song called "Force Of Nature", it sure sounds a bit restrained.  The opening drum riff, though real, sounds like a Casio loop.  It's a serviceable dad rock song, but it's not got a lot to remark on.  Decent performance from Vedder, though.  And the middle section has some guts without having to be hard, achieved through pure guitar melody.  Not the worst.

"Live To Rise" was the first "new" new Soundgarden since the 90's, and it wasn't exactly auspicious.  It was on the first Avengers soundtrack, and it was kind of weak sauce.  It's incredibly plain, more like a Chris Cornell solo track than a Soundgarden joint.  Even Audioslave would have kicked the shit out of this.

"Black Gives Way To Blue": 4
"Force Of Nature": 3
"Curmudgeon": 2
"Live To Rise": 1

TOTALS:

Soundgarden: 311
Alice In Chains: 294
Pearl Jam: 286
Nirvana: 248

Tomorrow, "Backspacer" gets sent packing, and we dig up some Dinosaurs.  Stay tuned.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Update Wrap-Up

Well, The Big Four Song Challenge Series Update has drawn to a close, and here we are in the aftermath.  Metallica edged out Megadeth on the strength of bonus material, Anthrax did okay and Slayer should have broken up when Jeff Hanneman died.  For real, all coming back with another album did for them was...well, make them money and allow them to keep touring and making more money, so there's that.  But more importantly, by releasing "Repentless", they dropped from two to three on my completely arbitrary opinion based blog series status ranking system!  Surely, that can't have been worth a couple million bucks?

Anyhow, I'm getting the feeling that rock music in general is going to need to evolve into something completely different or call it quits altogether.  Rock has had its 60 year run just like jazz did before it, and if it doesn't come up with something soon, it will fade away from the public consciousness, only to return in Gap commercials in the 2040…

THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 172

Anthrax "Impaled" (2016) VS Megadeth "Dystopia" (2016) VS Metallica "Atlas, Rise!" (2016) VS Slayer "Jihad" (Live from Sofia, Bulgaria) (2010)

Unfortunately, Anthrax drew the short straw here, as "Impaled" is a middling intro that, on top of being a bit of a non-song, goes on a hair too long for its own good.

"Dystopia" is a solid, upbeat fist-pumper that was a no-brainer to make the first single off the album of the same name.  It may seem a little milquetoast for the first half, but once the "single" part falls away, it reveals a banger in the back half that makes you remember why you like this stuff in the first place.  It'll take more than one listen to realize how cool this song is, but on play two or three you'll be nodding your head with a pleased scowl on your face.

My first impression of "Atlas, Rise!" was "This is the most average Metallica song ever."  Like if you took all the Met…

THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 178

Anthrax "Suzerain" (2016) VS Megadeth "Conquer Or Die!" (2016) VS Metallica "ManUNkind" (2016) VS Slayer "Cast The First Stone" (2015)

"Suzerain" is your pentennial reminder that Charlie Bennante don't fuck around.  Definitely the most fiery song on "For All Kings", and probably the closest to the old Anthrax as we're going to get ever again.  Bang your head in reflection.

"Conquer Or Die!" is more old school, though whether that works for or against it is up to you.  It's the three minute instrumental interlude.  This one is...fine.  Honestly, it's better than fine when compared to the song I have to review next, so I shan't complain too loudly.  But it is a song you wouldn't exactly miss if it fell off the face of the planet either.

"ManUNkind" was the point where I stopped giving "Hardwired...To Self-Destruct" the benefit of the doubt and started dreading the fact that I h…