Skip to main content


Match 043:

Alice In Chains "Again" (1995)
Nirvana "Serve The Servants" (1993)
Pearl Jam "Off He Goes" (1996)
Soundgarden "Holy Water" (1991)

"Again" does not have good lyrics.  Most of the album it comes from does not.  They've never been Alice In Chains's strong suit, but especially since Layne Staley utilized a lot of free association and in his own words "couldn't even remember a lot of" them after they were recorded.  He wanted the whole thing to be loose.  He got his wish.  Point is, the lyrics may suck but the song does not.  "Again", if you can ignore the babbling meh, is a doomy sounding song with a driving beat, which is something there needs to be more of, frankly.  Most doomy sounding songs just plod; this one jackhammers.  And of course, we get close to peak Staley again, so baller points +2, yo.

"Serve The Servants" is the opening salvo in Nirvana's follow-up and farewell rolled into one: "In Utero".  "Teenage angst has paid off well / Now I'm bored and old" is the perfect lyric to start an album designed as a counterpoint (and perhaps a complete disavowal of) "Smells Like Teen Spirit".  And since I'm the 1,000th rock journalist to have written this exact sentiment about that line, I WANT MY PRIZE, DAMMIT!  BALOONS AND STREAMERS IN THIS BITCH!!!  Anyway, the song is not just mid-tempo, it's the perfect kind of mid-tempo that captures the exhaustion of what the lyrics are talking about.

I think maybe I got "In My Tree" conflated with "Off He Goes" back two entries ago.  This is way more laid back.  In fact, this sounds downright out of place considering the five songs that preceded it.  It's an incredibly straightforward acoustic ballad switching back and forth between C Major and A minor.  This feels like a counterpoint to all of "Vitalogy" in a way, being how...plain it is.  "Off He Goes" is really plain.  To the point of being dull.  Not like "Smile", which was a little dull but kind of on purpose.  This is the most simple thing Pearl Jam has done up to this point, and it doesn't fit.  It doesn't seem like it has a reason to exist, so why is it one of their longest songs to this point?  Even the lyrics are boring.  There's no brilliant turn of phrase, no cleverness in wordplay, not even an interesting story.  It's just...a song.  A dirt boring song with nothing to write home about.

"Holy Water" is the direct fucking OPPOSITE.  It may be a bit slow, but it adds to the heaviness.  It really feels like a giant vessel of Holy Water sloshing around and weighing down the protagonist.  "Holy Water's rusted me" is just a solid-ass lyric.  You can't go wrong there, especially with something as groovy and bruised as this (bruise-y?).  It's dark in all the right spots and contrasted with Chris Cornell being Chris Cornell, peeling the paint off of this oxidized oil tanker lost at sea (an image which plays well with the closer on "Badmotorfinger", "New Damage").  Plus the ending is tits.

"Holy Water": 4
"Again": 3
"Serve The Servants": 2
"Off He Goes": 1


Pearl Jam: 123
Alice In Chains: 119
Nirvana: 96
Soundgarden: 94

Tomorrow is the end for "Badmotorfinger".  Will they catch Nirvana?  Not if "Scentless Apprentice" has anything to say about it.  Stay tuned.


Popular posts from this blog


This has certainly been a heck of a thing.

Writing this started out as a labor of love to a subgenre of rock and roll that came along at the perfect time for me (both when I was entering middle school in the bottom 5 of the popularity pecking order and when I started buying albums at the impressionable age of 11).  It obviously took a long time to put together: August 29th, 2016 is when I began planning, May 24th is when I wrote the last entry, the wee hours of August 1st, 2017 is when I finished proofreading and uploading the entries to the blog with video links, and here I am typing these words on August 15th.

The elephant in the room is this genre seems to be built on death.  Three of the four frontmen of these bands are dead, one of which occurred during the run of this series.  (Shouts to Alice In Chains bassist Mike Starr as well.  R.I.P.)  On top of that, Pearl Jam only exists because the lead singer of Mother Love Bone died, causing that band to break up.  If you go down the nex…

WHAT THE HELL IS A BLOG? - iTunes Music Reviews, April 2018

Being that it's been more than a year since I've attempted one of these and iTunes is gonna stop selling mp3's next year, this is probably my next to last chance to do this sort of thing.  I started doing hot take reviews of albums based off nothing but 30 second iTunes previews in 2007, and if I'd been smart, I'd've transitioned to YouTube with them in about 2009.  I didn't, so here we are.  If reading a slightly older gentleman trying to temper his apathy and vexation at modern pop music and give it a fair shake (or trying to be funny when shitting on things that he can't resist shitting on) is your jam, step up to the dance floor!

Scoring system goes from 0 stars (sometimes negative if it goes the extra mile of horrible) to five stars (which has happened three times in 11 years of doing this, and I'd take every one of them back because that's the thing with hot takes).  Here we go!

Cardi B "Invasion Of Privacy" ❂ & 1/2
(or ❂❂, dep…

MUSIC REVIEWS: Sophie, Hannah Diamond, The Brash Menagerie, Beach House & MC Lars

Hey, y'all.  Managed to cobble together some more opinions on the musics and such.  Let's see what listening to albums has done to my brain-to-word connectivity this week!

Ratings are like this:
0 Stars: Utter Shit
* Star: Had at least one redeeming thing about it, but definitely not my thing
** Stars: Meh.  Maybe a thing or two I liked, but definitely coulda been worse.
***: A Good Album.
****: A Great Album.
*****: Absolutely fucking incredible.  (Almost impossible to achieve.)

Sophie "Oil Of Every Pear's Un-Insides" *** and 1/4

Starts with a relaxing, reassuring song "It's Okay To Cry", which gets jarring out of nowhere at the end.  Which seemed needless, but then "Ponyboy" slams into the picture and I see what she was doing there: Dialating your sphincter for the unholy beating your asshole is about to endure.

This album is jagged; it's harsh; it's repellent; it's brutal; but most importantly: it's interesting.  It's…