Skip to main content


Match 023:

Alice In Chains "Rooster" (1992)
Nirvana "On A Plain" (1991)
Pearl Jam "Indifference" (1993)
Soundgarden "Hands All Over" (1989)

"Rooster" is almost on that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" level of "I AM SICK TO DEATH OF THIS SONG.  WHY AM I STILL HEARING IT?", but not quite.  Like a sliver below.  But I think it's a better song than "Teen Spirit", because it has more raison d'etre, more pathos and a clear narrative.  Also, I found myself singing along to the first verse while I set this file up to type, so it's still a song that I can appreciate, but it's still a song I'll turn the channel on 90% of the time.

"On A Plain" has an interesting refrain: "I love myself better than you."  That's kind of messed up considering two and a half years after this album came out, the line's author committed suicide.  If he loved himself more than anyone else, how misanthropic and miserable must he've been?  Of course that's just one way to look at it, and you can tell I'm stalling, because "On A Plain" is kind of the same song you've hear a bunch on the back half of "Nevermind"

"Indifference" is one of the best "close your eyes in the darkness and sigh" kind of songs you can ever vibe to.  It's a far better finisher than "Release" was for "Ten" and in fact fits the subject matter better: "Vs." was Eddie Vedder feeling tremendous pressure to follow up a massive hit while a) His band wasn't so stressed and kind of wondering what dude's problem was and b) recorded in a compound in relative isolation where Vedder slept in his truck or the sauna during the sessions.  He hated that place.  And "Indifference" is the end result: You throw your passion against a wall until you reach the point where you know you have to give up because you've given everything and you have to let the emptiness take you.  Emptiness doesn't automatically mean you'll never be filled again, but when you had so much passion, maybe you'll never reach the same level again.  But that may be okay in its own way, since having that much passion can lead to your own destruction...Just a thought.

"Hands All Over" might be the first real Soundgarden song we've heard so far.  It's got that muddy groove, Chris Cornell is serving up a powerful, lightning storm of a performance (high and cutting through everything)...It's good to hear this band finally becoming itself. 

"Indifference": 4
"Hands All Over": 3
"Rooster": 2
"On A Plain": 1


Pearl Jam: 77
Alice In Chains: 58
Nirvana: 58
Soundgarden: 37

And we have our first tie!  Let's see where this goes tomorrow in Match 024!


Popular posts from this blog


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…


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…


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…