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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 098

Match 098:

Alice In Chains "Dirt" (Drunk And Disorderly Version) (1993)
Nirvana "Blandest" (1988)
Pearl Jam "Unemployable" (2006)
Soundgarden "Blood On The Valley Floor" (2012)

You can tell Layne Staley's pretty fucked up on this one.  I'm not sure why they put this on the album.  He gets the city name wrong, then can barely remember what album the song "Dirt" is from.  Then he doesn't sing it very well.  This is one of those clips you play during "Behind The Music" to show the band in freefall.  Why on Earth they would willingly include this on an official release is beyond me.

"Blandest" lives up to its name.  It's the most bland song I've heard Nirvana do so far.  There's no lyrics good enough to pretend they're deep nor bad enough to lambaste.  The rhythm section just sits there and the guitar does the vocal line.  It's flaccid.

"Unemployable" sounds like Tom Petty with better drums and slightly better vocals.  It's well enough constructed, and on "Pearl Jam" it wouldn't be unwelcome in its track placement, but it's a little too mellow for me.  It's not like I don't enjoy mellow; one of the bands I'm most into nowadays is The New Pornographers.  But this isn't the right kind of mellow for my tastes.  It's still fine, though.  I'd bump this.  It's also got a cool guitar outro that I wish was longer.

"Blood On The Valley Floor" is a harder version of the more...deliberate tracks on "Down On The Upside" (it's a little too harsh to call them plodding).  As a result, the slight addition of more bite makes "Blood" a decent head nodder.  Normally, this would pull a 2 or 3, but lack of competition catapults merely ok to a win.

"Blood On The Valley Floor": 4
"Unemployable": 3
"Blandest": 2
"Dirt": 0 (There's no excuse for this being released officially)

TOTALS:

Soundgarden: 263
Alice In Chains: 254
Pearl Jam: 242
Nirvana: 221

I'm really afraid to hear the last five songs from that Alice In Chains "Live" album now.  They come from Layne Staley's last two live performances.  Brace yourselves; this could get ugly.

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