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THE GRUNGE MATCH - 110

Match 110:

Alice In Chains "Acid Bubble" (2009)
Nirvana "Old Age" (1991)
Pearl Jam "Amongst The Waves" (2009)
Soundgarden "Fresh Deadly Roses" (1990)

"Acid Bubble" is the "Hate To Feel" of the bunch.  It's the "Love, Hate, Love".  It's the other slow, dark song.  The one with the knife twist in it.  And I don't dislike it.  It's a necessary component to a good Alice In Chains album.  The riff that comes cutting in at the three minute mark, grinding through with odd time and jagged force is what makes this song worth while.  Without it, it'd be an intolerable slog.  But with the payoff...it casts the set-up in a different light and validates it.

"Old Age" was recorded during the "Nevermind" sessions.  It's an uncharacteristically tender sound from Cobain, especially since its musically reminiscent of mid-period Pearl Jam, but with a rhythm section that gives it a soul.  It's an odd bird for Nirvana, but definitely interesting.  I don't think they had all the words for the bridge, because it doesn't sound like there are any, but the song's good enough that it doesn't matter.

"Amongst The Waves" is the exact opposite of "Not For You".  I picked that song because the beginnings of both songs are reminiscent of each other.  "Not For You" is claustrophobic and about pushing everyone away.  "Amongst The Waves" is seemingly about sharing a wonderful day with someone, not a care in the world, but then in the second verse you get the sense that maybe the "airwaves" are being chosen for a metaphor and its someone who is thinking about being somewhere else, transported by electronic escapism.  Or something.  I dunno.  It doesn't feel like it's coming from a very deep place, but that seems to be "Backspacer"'s M.O.

"Fresh Deadly Roses" is another song that would've been better than a good chunk of the album it was left off of.  Also taken from the "Loudest Love" EP, "Roses" is about halfway between "Louder Than Love" and "Badmotorfinger" with an odd tinge of "Down On The Upside" to it, which is why when I first heard it, I didn't believe it was a B-Side from 1990.  I could've swore it was from like "Rhinosaur" or something.  But the production is a bit of a giveaway.  This song is better crafted than all but three of the songs on "Louder Than Love", and certainly better than the rest of today's faire.

"Fresh Deadly Roses": 4
"Amongst The Waves": 3
"Acid Bubble": 2
"Old Age": 1

TOTALS:

Soundgarden: 301
Alice In Chains: 284
Pearl Jam: 273
Nirvana: 241

Soundgarden has broken the 300 point threshold!  And it'll be awhile before anyone else does.  For a band that were cellar dwellers for so long, this is quite an achievement (in this completely arbitrary contest based on my opinion and mine alone).  Let's see who's next over the line!

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