Skip to main content

THE GRUNGE MATCH - 097

Match 097:

Alice In Chains "Junkhead" (Live) (1993)
Nirvana "Clean Up Before She Comes" (1986-88)
Pearl Jam "Parachutes" (2006)
Soundgarden "A Thousand Days Before" (2012)

This is the last of the Glasgow songs from the "Live" album, and I'm kind of sad to see it go because that performance sounded pretty on.  This has Alice In Chains sounding the most metal they've ever sounded.  The guitar tone, the palm muted arpeggios where there were none before, Layne Staley's gruff, guttural delivery...this shit hard.  It adds life to a song that's supposed to be morose, and it may be missing the point by doing that, but dude it's a gnarled take I didn't see coming.

"Clean Up Before She Comes" is likewise the last song from the 1986-88 Kurt Cobain home recordings.  And again, it's the beginnings of something that was never returned to.  It could have been a single; it's catchy and even the vocal harmonies are all right, which is saying a LOT for Nirvana.  It could have been a cool little departure for them, but not too far from their norm.  Even this solo recording isn't too shabby; it's a mostly formed idea.

"Parachutes" is a well played if limp acoustic ballad.  It's...fine, I guess, but there's not much to it.  It doesn't evoke a response, it doesn't have poignance to it...it just seems to be there to put "quiet song" there in the track order.  And it's...not the worst, but it's Meh with a capital M.

"A Thousand Days Before" starts with some Mid-Eastern shit, which usually doesn't bode well for Western rock acts, usually because they're not trying to sound Mid-Eastern, they're trying to sound like The Beatles when they tried to sound Mid-Eastern.  Thankfully it launches into a "Down On The Upside" caliber or better bounce before that gets tedious.  I'd say better once it gets to the chorus; it's definitely more lively.  And the sitar coming back in the middle doesn't sound out of place or drown out the rest of the song, so its placement is ultimately tasteful.  This song has a lot of nice little acrobatics to it when you sit down and pay attention.

"A Thousand Days Before": 4
"Junkhead" (Live): 3
"Clean Up Before She Comes": 2
"Parachutes": 1

TOTALS:

Soundgarden: 259
Alice In Chains: 254
Pearl Jam: 239
Nirvana: 219

Dammit!  I'm sorry, Pearl Jam!  I didn't mean to jinx you!  Oh well.  Damage is done.  Rest of the album'll suck now.  (For all our sakes, I hope not...)  Next, we go on to a one off track from the "Live" album recorded in Japan, and a one off Nirvana studio session from 1988.  Oh yeah, and "Pearl Jam" & "King Animal" continue to do their thing.

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 TOP 20 SONGS OF 2017 (Updated)

Here it is: My favorite songs of 2017.  This podcast won't be up forever so listen while you can before I end up putting something else up on Soundcloud (with its 3 hour limit ass).  [BLOGGER'S NOTE: The Top Albums podcast was longer than I anticipated, so it's already down.  Sorry.  Instead, I've linked to the songs below.]  I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labor.  This year has been better than quite a few in recent memory, which took me by surprise.  Music is pretty sweet if you know where to look.

20. "Gucci" Qveen Herby
19. "Learn To Let Go" Kesha
18. "New York" St. Vincent
17. "Praying" Kesha
16. "Avalanche Alley" The New Pornographers
15. "Automaton" Robotaki
14. "Dreams" Beck
13. "Them Changes" Thundercat
12. "Woman" Kesha
11. "Rainbow" Kesha
10. "Automaton" Jamiroquai
9. "Constellations" Grant & Jessi Mason
8. "Wow Wow" Neil Cicierega
7. &qu…