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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 103

Match 103:

Alice In Chains "Dam That River" (Live) (1996)
Nirvana "Token Eastern Song" (1989)
Pearl Jam "Come Back" (2006)
Soundgarden "Halfway There" (2012)

"Dam That River", being one of the quintessential "Track Two"s in album history, is a curious choice to end a disc with, especially knowing now how final that ending was.  They certainly went out with a bang on this one.  Alice In Chains manages to sound tougher than the "Dirt" version and musically tries to kick your teeth in.  Layne is mostly on point, bringing the last of his vitriol to the fore to be expended.  Unfortunately, he would be found unresponsive a few hours after the show, and the tour was cancelled.  Staley would make one other public appearance at a Jerry Cantrell solo show in 1998 before his untimely death in 2002.  So yeah, this was it.

There's not much else I can add to it.

"Token Eastern Song" doesn't have a whole lot of "Eastern" flair to it.  It's got a vaguely "Eastern" key, but that's about it.  I mean, Cobain is alleged to have dabbled with Buddhism, but I don't hear much of a reason to call this song what it's called.  It's grumpy, mid-paced aggro rock that's fine as outtake material, but was never going to be more because Nirvana had better songs even in 1989.

"Come Back" is some bullshit waltz with a church organ in it.  It goes for five and a half minutes.  I got nothing from it whatsoever.

"Halfway There" reminds me of a slightly faster, shittier version of "Coffee & TV" by Blur except with none of what made that song compelling.  Maybe if you injected the Blur song with that Vertical Horizon one from around the same time and cured "Coffee & TV" of all its charm, you'd get "Halfway There".  VH1 Rock.

I gotta say it: How the hell a dying man beat you all, homie?  Goin' out on a high note.

"Dam That River" (Live): 4
"Token Eastern Song": 3
"Halfway There": 2
"Come Back": 1

TOTALS:

Soundgarden: 280
Alice In Chains: 266
Pearl Jam: 254
Nirvana: 230

So we say goodbye to Layne Staley, the "Live" album and the Alice In Chains of the 90's.  Tomorrow we say hello to William DuVall and the Alice In Chains of the 2010's.  We also hear the last from Pearl Jam's self-titled album.  Stay tuned.

Comments

  1. I posted that TV video just last week, but probably after you wrote this post ...

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