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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 017

Match 017:

Alice In Chains "Love Song" (1992)
Nirvana "Lithium" (1991)
Pearl Jam "W.M.A." (1993)
Soundgarden "He Didn't" (1988)

"Love Song" is an unlisted bonus track on the "Sap" EP and it's pretty fuckin' dumb.  Fart noises, thrash metal out of nowhere with a piano, vocals through a megaphone about how his gums are bleeding...This shit is poopy.

"Lithium" is like the warm blanket, the comfort food of all grunge.  It's catchy enough to not scare away the norms yet just edgy enough to give you something to sink your teeth into.  And it's familiar.  If you're reading this and you can't reproduce the song from memory, then congratulations, you are under 21 (and I fucking envy you).

"W.M.A." is a stark reminder that police harassing black people for no reason has been going on for much longer than our selective amnesia would like us to believe.  This song was written nearly a quarter century ago and it's somehow more relevant today than in 1993.  I kind of wish I hadn't read the WikiPedia article on this though, because I found out the drums are a two measure loop for the entire six minutes, and I never noticed that Jeff Ament plays the same bass line for the whole thing.  Now that I know it's essentially a loop with overdubs, it doesn't feel as cool.  It's still a great song, I even really dig the drum pattern, but I just never noticed until now how repetitive it was.  It doesn't ruin the song, just puts it in a slightly less flattering light.

"He Didn't" has a few drum overdubs of its own, but they detract and distract from the average at best wankfest at hand.  Still better than "Love Song" though.  That one was funny the first two times I heard it back in 2001, but really it's just bullshit.

So:

"W.M.A.": 4
"Lithium": 3
"He Didn't": 2
"Love Song": 1

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 59
Alice In Chains: 43
Nirvana: 42
Soundgarden: 26

Tomorrow is the debut of "Dirt" in this war of grunge attrition.  Check back to see what happens!

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