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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 102

Match 102:

Alice In Chains "A Little Bitter" (Live) (1996)
Nirvana "Ain't It A Shame" (1989)
Pearl Jam "Army Reserve" (2006)
Soundgarden "Black Saturday" (2012)

I'm genuinely shocked to hear "A Little Bitter" in a live setting.  It was the other "Last Action Hero" song, the cult classic.  The Alice In Chains deep cut of deep cuts.  And given the state of the band and the kind of bland recording style of these live shows, this is still passionate.  This still, with all its flaws, has balls.

"Ain't It A Shame" is the only song The Jury did that's worth hearing.  It sounds like an aggro version of the Jackass theme.  Cobain goes in on this one.  And that drummer's nuckin' futs too.  You wanna talk about fire, this is like taking a bath in everclear.

Pearl Jam takes a more funk tinged, mid-70's Stones ballad approach with "Army Reserve".  The chorus reminds me of earlier Pearl Jam, but only by the faintest echo.  In fact, I like the guitar line of the verse so much, I wish it wasn't in a Pearl Jam song but in some other band I'd never heard of.  It would be the song by that band that grabbed my attention and made me a fan.  But instead, with all the trappings of being a PJ song, it's kind of middle of the road.

"Black Sunday" continues a slew of slower numbers from "King Animal", and much like "Taree", Chris Cornell actually saves an average song with a few good ideas by dragging it kicking and screaming over the hump with his vocal delivery.  It's an exercise in restraint in every aspect, but it manages to have passages that make your head nod in appreciation, pathos in its emoting and a pleasant surprise to exit the chorus each time and conclude the song.

"Black Sunday": 4
"Ain't It A Shame": 3
"A Little Bitter" (Live): 2
"Army Reserve": 1

TOTALS:

Soundgarden: 278
Alice In Chains: 262
Pearl Jam: 253
Nirvana: 227

Tomorrow is the last song of the Alice In Chains "Live" album, after which things go black then give way to blue.  (I dunno.  Being clever is hard after 102 of these.)

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