Skip to main content

THE GRUNGE MATCH - 071

Match 071:

Jerry Cantrell "Satisfy" (1998)
Nirvana "Drain You" (Live) (1991)
Pearl Jam "Of The Girl" (2000)
Soundgarden "Ruff Riff-Raff" (1994)

The beginning of "Satisfy" threatens an even lower frequency on the sad bastard band than "Breaks My Back" or the rest of "Boggy Depot", and the verses are indeed a slog.  The chorus is a bit tepid, but has some life to it and at least the song is under four minutes.  It may drag for the vast majority of its span, but at least it doesn't drag on.  God this song is boring.

They're playing "Drain You" in a key too high for Kurt Cobain to sing properly.  Other than that it's a passable yet forgettable rendition of the original.  A different energy, which can work to a performance's advantage, but the more polished album version is certainly better.  This was recorded at some fairground in California in a 3,500 seat theater mere days before they overthrew Michael Jackson from the #1 spot on Billboard, literally on the cusp of their (and their genre's) arrival in the mainstream.  (Man, I could write for Rolling Stone...yuck!)

PJ have gone back to the acoustics again, this time to create a dreamier atmosphere with 12-strings, but also a pulse.  That pulse builds into tribal drums and some shit hot blues licks.  Vedder more implies the vocals than delivers them, and the effect is really cool.  This is my favorite song on "Binaural" so far by a mile.  Throw in a deep bass line for good measure, and you've got yourself quite the pleasant surprise.

Speaking of pleasant surprises, "Ruff Riff-Raff" almost sounds like a real song.  Stylistically somewhere between "Superunknown" and "Down On The Upside".  Also, IT'S NOT TRYING TO BE FUNNY.  It's a solid little instrumental jam.  A few Soundgarden-isms to let you know exactly who did this, and call it a day.  I like this one.

"Of The Girl": 4
"Ruff Riff-Raff": 3
"Drain You" (Live): 2
"Satisfy": 1

TOTALS:

Alice In Chains: 183
Pearl Jam: 181
Soundgarden: 179
Nirvana: 167

Pearl Jam is threatening to re-take the throne and Soundgarden stopped their free-fall.  This should continue going forward, as only two more songs remain before "Down On The Upside" kicks in, and one of them is for sure a real song (maybe both).  We'll see what happens.

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…