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I never really quite warmed to them for some decidely unmusical reasons: they were grunge's ugly metal step-children, Layne Staley was just a wee bit too much of the smack-addled ****-up (although as a Nirvana fan this displays Olympic levels of hypocrisy on my part), "Jerry Cantrell" sounds a ****-kicker's name, "Alice in Chains" conjures up images of dodgy S+M & the cover of Dirt seemed to confirm this.
However I picked up their best of for like £3 last year and I've gradually fallen for them hook, line and sinker. Now of the opinion Cantrell is something of a minor genius. His music has a lot more depth than I ever gave it credit for.
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- As featured in The Independent.
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- Steve Smith before the Ashes
Yeah been listening to heaps of 70's and 80's alternative for some ungodly reason*. Velvet Underground and Husker Du have made it onto my iP00d. Crazy times.
What's your take on the Huskers, T_C? I've occasionally championed them on CW previously.
Well, it's actually a massive mental adjustment for me to listen to guys like that. The stuff I've been listening to/playing for the last few year is so heavily groove-based so precision timing is in order because without that lock-in, no-one hits the dflo. Guys like that, seems to basically be about this sprawling, adolescent, unfocussed wall of energy.
Still adjusting but I see the appeal. Would be fun to play that stuff and just go nuts on stage. Definitely more in-depth lyrics than, say, funk. I mean, it's not deep philosophy, just raw expression of base emotions so subtle it ain't. Can dig how disaffected it all is.
Last edited by Top_Cat; 06-05-2013 at 08:20 AM.
Yeah, they can from hardcore punk beginnings (debut album Land Speed Record is just that; ugly as a nailbomb in an orphanage) but they gradually welded a pop sensibility to hardcore anger and brevity.
I think their last two albums (Candy Apple Grey & Warehouse) are ripe for a sensitive remastering too as I think the drums sound a little flat in the production, which might be a result of Mould and Hart basically hating the guts of each other by then and with the latter being the drummer the former may have wanted to undercut his rival songwriter.
Their posthumous live album The Living End has a more fleshed out drum sound.
AIC are so good. Cantrell is/was the brains behind the outfit. Layne Staley had the insane voice but Cantrell is so brilliant in his own right (some of his solo stuff is actually pretty good tbf, though not all of it). Looking forward to their new album in a couple of weeks. It's not vintage AIC these days by any means but still awesome. Stone is a fantastic song.
I love Alice in Chains. It's a rekindled love lately.
- Brilliant harmonies.
- Cantrell is a genius.
- Rhythm section is amazing.
- The bass lines are always really cool.
The merge of metal/grunge really suits where my musical tastes were 20 years ago. Good memories!
Alice In Chains - No Excuses - YouTube
For those who care, Neutral Milk Hotel have reformed and are going on tour later in the year. Dates in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (at something called Harvest?)
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Supporting Petone's Finest since the very start - Iain O'Brien
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Also Supporting the All Time #1 Batsman of All Time Ever - Jacques Kallis and the much maligned Peter Siddle.
Vimes tells it how it is:
Guess it shows that music is more than just put talented musicians in a studio; on paper an album from Cantrell, Bob "Metallica" Trujillo & Puffy "Faith No More" Bordin sounds like a great idea and it's not bad, but it's not quite classic Cantrell either.
DuVall sounds a heck of a lot like Staley too.
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