Skip to main content

THE GRUNGE MATCH - 045

Match 045:

Alice In Chains "God Am" (1995)
Nirvana "Heart-Shaped Box" (1993)
Pearl Jam "Red Mosquito" (1996)
Soundgarden "Into The Void (Sealth)" (1991)

"God Am" doesn't exactly inspire confidence by starting with the lighting of a bong.  It does add to the wobbly-legged atmosphere, with a slanted beat and slight psychedelia through a grunge lens.  The lyrics are of the less embarrassing variety for the back half of this album in spite of the clumsy attempt at trying to use "goddam" as "God Am", but hey, for someone who took a sick bong rip before this got started, that's probably the best they'll do.

"Heart-Shaped Box" is a song I've heard a million times, but I've been able to avoid for a decent number of years now.  Last time I heard it, I think I was playing Guitar Hero II.  The lyrics are the kind of gibberish that fooled Gavin Rosdale into thinking he could be a poet and their delivery is...okay, I guess?  The riffs are nothing to write home about and the solo isn't a solo at all; it's barely a lead.  But the song is still effective because that chorus slams.  Cobain knew how to build tension effectively.  But all in all it's kind of meh.

"Red Mosquito" is a bluesy, major key waltz number that makes me visualize a band member motioning "Come on!" as they smile at a festival crowd.  Ironically enough, the song is inspired by Eddie Vedder's food poisoning incident on the "Vitalogy" tour, which prevented him from being on stage to motion anything at a crowd.  It's a nice little song with acoustic verses and a more positive energy around it than most of what I've had to cover for The Grunge Match.  It's at this point that I'm starting to think "No Code" never got a fair shake.

"Into The Void (Sealth)" is a cover of Black Sabbath's song of the same name but with lyrics taken from a translation of Chief Seattle's speech about Manifest Destiny made while it was happening.  It's a passable cover, I mean it's "Badmotorfinger" era Soundgarden covering Black Sabbath; that's mentee paying homage to mentor.  It was also nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 1993 Grammys, so there's that.

Kinda slim pickin's today.  They can't all be winners.  But we do have one:

"Red Mosquito": 4
"Into The Void (Sealth)": 3
"God Am": 2
"Heart-Shaped Box": 1

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 130
Alice In Chains: 123
Nirvana: 101
Soundgarden: 98

Come back tomorrow for four songs that, just by looking at the titles, sound like some really creepy sex stuff is about to happen.  (But one of 'em is a Devo cover, so...is that better?  We'll see.)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Update Wrap-Up

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…

THE GRUNGE MATCH - Conclusion

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…

THE BIG FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 185

Anthrax "Vice Of The People" (2016) VS Megadeth "Melt The Ice Away" (2016) VS Metallica "When A Blind Man Cries" (2016) VS Slayer "Pride In Prejudice" (2015)

"Vice Of The People" is the Japanese bonus track for "For All Kings".  Aaaand it starts with that doofy march beat.  Wonderful.  The lyrics don't do it any favors in the "I should take this seriously" department either.  And like most of the songs I've slagged in this Update process, it's not bad.  It's just so "...whatever."

"Melt The Ice Away" is a Budgie cover that was the Spotify exclusive bonus track for "Dystopia".  It's funny how the original Budgie tracks are often much softer than the bands that cover them and turn them into fucking barnburners.  This song sounds a little goofy in the vocals and lyrics department, but knowing it's a Budgie song, it totally gets a pass.  And unlike some covers of Budgi…