Skip to main content


Match 079:

Alice In Chains "Bleed The Freak" (Demo) (1988)
Nirvana "Heart-Shaped Box" (Live) (1993)
Pearl Jam "Love Boat Captain" (2002)
Soundgarden "Blow Up The Outside World" (1996)

"Bleed The Freak" from 1988 is more brisk than the original and lots more "eeeeee" instead of "eaaaaaayyy" in the pronunciations.  It makes it slightly less cool than the "Facelift" version, but it's actually quite close to it in production sound, though maybe a little more Ozzy Osbourne circa "No More Tears".  An interesting artifact, if nothing else.

Considering this is three months before their last live performance, this is a surprisingly lively version of a song that was never very lively to begin with.  It has pacing issues, which is unthinkable with Dave Grohl behind the kit, but even in spite of that, this is a solid performance of "Heart-Shaped Box", certainly far more solid than I expected coming two days before 1994.

"Love Boat Captain" was the fourth and final official single from "Riot Act", released on February 18, 2003.  It has a video, shot at the same club as the other music videos from this album, but with a different color scheme ("Save You" was blue and fuck annoying light in your face, this one's red.)  It's got an organ in it from co-writer Boom Gaspar.

Here's the thing.  This is a good song.  It didn't blow me away, but I liked it.  I have never heard it before, and I don't know when I'll hear it again.  If I did, in spite of hearing it one and a half times just now, I may not be able to pick it out of a lineup.  But I feel like it's better than that somehow.  I feel like if I'd heard it as track three of "Riot Act" instead of "79th Pearl Jam song", I would've appreciated it more.  Context matters.  Still, it's good; it's got that goin' for it.

"Blow Up The Outside World" had an uphill battle to get on my good side.  Combine Soundgarden fatigue with a shitty-looking video ripping off A Clockwork Orange and that I already disliked the first two singles off this album for being too soft, and it took years before I even gave "Blow Up" a chance.  That being said, context comes into play again.  It's a better listen as part of an album as opposed to an individual song.  As an individual song, it's kind of a slog.  It's six minutes, it's kinda boring, it's got a catchy hook, but man.  I just don't know.

"Bleed The Freak" (Demo): 4
"Blow Up The Outside World": 3
"Heart-Shaped Box" (Live): 2
"Love Boat Captain": 1

I know this is totally based on my opinion come I'm not happy with those scores?  None of them seem right.  Eh, best I could do.  Call this one a compromise.


Alice In Chains: 208
Soundgarden: 205
Pearl Jam: 195
Nirvana: 182

The saga continues...


Popular posts from this blog


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…


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…


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…