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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 044

Match 044:

Alice In Chains "Shame In You" (1995)
Nirvana "Scentless Apprentice" (1993)
Pearl Jam "Habit" (1996)
Soundgarden "New Damage" (1991)

"Shame In You" is the song I threw on a mixtape for my car the week Layne Staley died.  It feels like he's singing from the perspective of someone speaking from the afterlife and it seems like he's his own angel trying to console himself after he's passed on.  "Yeah, that trip was fucked up, I did some pretty fucked up selfish shit and I could've been better, but it was what it was.  I never found 'someday' to get everything straight, so all I can do is think about what I got right, which when you think about it was quite a bit.  So hey, not a total loss, this life thing, right?  Better luck next time.  Yes, you get a next time.  Matter cannot be destroyed nor created; it just becomes something else."  Peace go with you, brother.

Wow, that got heavy.  Speaking of which...

I fell in love with "Scentless Apprentice" the first second I heard it.  That's never really changed.  Dave Grohl just goes SO fucking hard on this one.  The chords are butter.  The lyrics and vocals ain't my bag, but the rest of it is so goddam BALLER I can't help myself.  This is what a rock song sounds like.

"Habit" is one of the handful of songs on "No Code" that are straight up rock tunes.  And that's no slag on "No Code"; it was designed to do something different.  "Habit" is like a good version of "Satan's Bed" in some ways.  It's detuned, which for Pearl Jam is a new trick.  It's not full of intentionally bizarre imagery like the former song was, and it stays focused on banging out the rock.  I like it.  Even in spite of the second half of the song being a series of false finishes.

"The wreck is going down / Get out before you drown".  Brought down by the "Holy Water", perhaps?  I like this song in context of the album, but by itself, it's kind of average.  It's a dirge with a twist or turn or two to "keep it above water" (groan).  (Groan like the warped metal of a sinking ship?  Eh?  EH?)  (God, I can't take you anywhere.)

So anyway:

"Scentless Apprentice": 4
"Habit": 3
"Shame In You": 2
"New Damage": 1

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 126
Alice In Chains: 121
Nirvana: 100
Soundgarden: 95

With that, Nirvana joins the 100 club!  Soundgarden's not that far behind, though so we'll see what the slew of B-Sides between "Badmotorfinger" and "Superunknown" has to offer.

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