Skip to main content

THE GRUNGE MATCH - 062

Match 062:

Alice In Chains "The Killer Is Me" (1996)
Nirvana "Polly" (Unplugged) (1994)
Pearl Jam "Push Me, Pull Me" (1998)
Soundgarden "Half" (1994)

"The Killer Is Me" was first released on "Alice In Chains Unplugged" and to my knowledge no studio version exists.  This is the first time I've ever heard the song, so this should be an interesting anthropological artifact if nothing else.

The chords are intentionally sour and off key, and I'm ambivalent about that.  It doesn't sound good, but at the same time it kind of works, so points for trying something original.  The lyrics are pretty banal, and the against-the-grain harmony they were going for with intentionally fucked up chords would have benefited from an electric guitar where the distortion might have made it sound cooler, but then again it really sounds like a song written to be played on an acoustic guitar...I'm not really sure what to make of it.  But I enjoyed it for what it was.

"Polly" suffers from the fact that the original was basically Kurt Cobain by himself, but they do add a few touches to make it different: It's a step down, it's a little slower and there's a cello in the background.  Though the cello gives it a slightly fuller sound, it subliminally points out the similarities between itself and "Dumb", which they just played before this.  It also doesn't help that Cobain's vocals are merely okay on this version when compared to the original.

"Push Me, Pull Me" is a beatnik rework of Shawn Mullin's "Rockabye" without a hook.  The music is all through a filter, the vocals are spoken word except some backing harmonies singing the name of the song, for no good reason at all the verses are in odd time...not sure what this is, but it sounds like dreck to me.  Bad Pearl Jam.  You wrote a bad song.  Bad.

"Half", on paper, isn't much better, but somehow it manages to have a) A certain charm in spite of its annoying, clipped, weird to be weird sound and b) The benefit of nostalgia.  Yes, it's a complete throwaway track, but it's a throwaway track on one of the most defining albums of a genre and a time period.  It's also a moment of levity between the skull crushing brutality of "4th Of July" and the soul-scarring starkness of "Like Suicide".  It really depends on your mood whether or not you'd call this a brilliant or shit placement of such a song.  But it's better than whatever the fuck "Push Me, Pull Me" was, so I'll take it!

"The Killer Is Me": 4
"Half": 3
"Polly" (Unplugged): 2
"Push Me, Pull Me": 1

TOTALS:

Pearl Jam: 160
Alice In Chains: 160
Soundgarden: 158
Nirvana: 142

Alice In Chains has tied Pearl Jam!  And Soundgarden is only two points behind!  Tomorrow is a big day, because three things are coming:

The last song on "Superunknown"
The last song on "Yield"
The first song on the next album for Alice In Chains

Why be so coy about that last one?  Well to spice things up, there's more than one way to go, and I'll leave it as a surprise as to which I chose.  Come back tomorrow to see what's going down!

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…

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…

WHO IS CHAMPION OF WRESTLEMANS?!?!? Wrestlemania IV VS Wrestlemania 34

Welcome to this crazy, ridiculous idea.  So, I've done current Wrestlemania cards VS old Wrestlemania cards before, but this one is different.  Wrestlemania IV was dominated by a one night tournament for the vacant WWF title (the only time Vacant got to main event Mania!).  It had a handful of other matches, but it was mostly about the fourteen man tournament for the belt.  So we're gonna do a 32-man tournament for the crown of Wrestlemania Champion!

Here's how it shakes out: I picked sixteen wrestlers from Wrestlemania 34 (one of which isn't official, but they've teased Undertaker so goddam hard I would be forgiven if it turns out to be an elaborate swerve) and sixteen from Wrestlemania IV.  I had to include the participants of the Intercontinental Title match from that one as well, since the tournament only had 14 wrestlers.  (Hogan & Andre got a first round bye and it was a whole thing.)  For this year, I picked the participants from the WWE and Universal t…