Skip to main content

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.

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…