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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 035

Match 035:

Alice In Chains "Whale & Wasp" (1994)
Nirvana "(New Wave) Polly" (1992)
Pearl Jam "Aye Davanita" (1994)
Soundgarden "Slaves & Bulldozers" (1991)

"Whale & Wasp" is a string based instrumental, with minimal bass, swelling cellos, an acoustic rhythm and two harmonizing electric leads.  It's a nice close your eyes and vibe song without being repetitive.  The leads have Cantrell's signature lyrical nature to them.

"(New Wave) Polly" is a hard charging punk version of the song "Polly" from "Nevermind".  It's brisk, almost but not quite to the point of outpacing itself.  Its frenetic energy, especially in contrast to its acoustic counterpart, will get your blood moving.

"Aye Davanita", in spite of being a near three minute filler track on its face, has grown on me over the years.  The only lyrics are the title, repeated incessantly, and the music is the same jammed on riff for the entirety.  It fades in, it fades out, the world remains unchained.  But as far as atmosphere (which is usually not something I look for in a piece) it builds quite a quaint little tapestry.

It took me years to get into "Slaves & Bulldozers" (the song, not the kink; man, I don't pity whoever has to pay the diesel bill for that), but in spite of reminding me of the primordial muck of Soundgarden's formative years (and being overlong), it's a better all-around version of what they were trying to do from '87-'89.  They're reaching their full potential.

But seriously, "Slaves & Bulldozers" is almost as long as the other three songs in this entry combined (6:55 VS 7:22).  After awhile, it kind of grinds on you (in spite of the breakdown toward the end being one of the best parts).  This was a surprise, because I thought for sure Soundgarden was a slam dunk for the four, but the more I think about it:

"Whale & Wasp": 4
"Aye Davanita": 3
"(New Wave) Polly": 2
"Slaves & Bulldozers": 1

And I thought "Whale & Wasp" was a two at best going in!  The supposed throwaway scores a three!  The aggro retread scored higher than the preconceived notion!  Shit's crazy over here!  I'm shocked at this.  I even listened to "Slaves" again and part of "Polly" to make sure.  But the more I think about it, the more it seems right.  "Slaves & Bulldozers", which has some great pieces to it, is just so lifeless.  It's kind of lifeless by design, but still.  I feel like even though "Polly" is a remake, it's just more fun to listen to.  I felt it more.  So, the totals are:

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 108
Alice In Chains: 95
Nirvana: 82
Soundgarden: 67

Come back tomorrow, because who knows what the fuck'll happen!

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