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 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…

R.I.P. Chris Cornell

The Grunge Match is suspended indefinitely.

I don't know when it will resume.  This hits way too close to home for way too many reasons.

As far as writing goes, I just did Match 112 Tuesday night.  I have no interest in going back through and making this a love letter to the departed, nor bashing him for tearing our hearts out.  I have no idea when I'll be able to even listen to Soundgarden again, and when I do, it won't be the fucking same so there's no way I can give any kind of objective rating.  Chris Cornell was the soul of that band, the thing that took sludge with a few acrobatic musical flourishes and made it into the hellfire slinging, metal rending monster that it needed to be.

So yeah.  This one hurts.  The man is dead.  The music remains, but is changed forever.  His friends, family and fans are suffering incalculable grief.  There's not much more to say, so silence seems like the best option.

THE NEXT FOUR SONG CHALLENGE SERIES - Matchup 001

Since dusting off The Big Four Song Challenge Series I got to thinking.  What about the other thrash metal giants out there?  There's always been a debate as to who the next four bands would be on the list.  The two constants are always Testament and Exodus, but nobody can agree who's 5 and who's 6.  Then nobody can agree on who the next two bands would be.  Overkill gets thrown around a lot, but they're not really as big as the two bands I've chosen to fill those slots.

Oh yeah.  Probably should have mentioned.  Though you've probably guessed by the blog post title, I am doing a completely new series of blogs called "The Next Four Song Challenge Series".  Same rules, same set up as before and same INSANE amount of blog posts.  The four bands we're going to be covering are as follows:

Exodus
Testament
Sepultura
Suicidal Tendencies

Why not Overkill?  For one, I could never stand the guy's voice, but all told, Sepultura and Suicidal are bigger h…