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View Full Version : (Rock) Alice in Chains - Jar of Flies


GraveCross
11-19-2003, 12:39 PM
Alice in Chains was one of the most difinitive and influencial bands of the early 90's. Riding on the coattails of the growing Seattle scene, and the popularity of Nirvana, Alice in Chains quickly began to move up the charts after releasing their second album, Dirt, in 1992, which went on to go platinum that year.

Alice In Chains next CD was a little album called Jar of Flies. In some ways, it was the antithesis of Dirt. Much softer and more melodic, it seemed like the whole tone of the music was changing.

Jar of Flies
Release Date: January 25, 1994

Considering the album was created in about a week, the quality of the songs seem astounding. It showed Alice in Chains ability to not only quickly produce killer songs, but also progressed their sound to a whole new level.

Track 1: Rotten Apple

The longest song on the CD is also one of the most unique. It starts out with just a baseline and some insane acid-guitar like riffs performed by the masterful Jerry Cantrell. Soon Staley's voice kicks in and gives the song its dreary and bleak tone. Although it is a bit repetitive, it is extremely interesting to listen to. Espescially when Cantrell busts out some great guitar effects near the end of the song.

8/10

Track 2: Nutshell

In my opinion, Nutshell is one of the most beautifully depressing songs ever created. Staley is pure genius in this track. To really get a feel for it, you need to hear it for yourself.

10/10

Track 3: I Stay Away

A strange mix of acoustic and electric, I Stay Away is a masterful song. It quickly switches tempo and style throughout the song, and is very reminisct of Alice in Chains most popular track, Rooster. Staley's voice, like it often does, steals the show in this song, but Cantrell is no slouch, with some very diverse guitar playing. Overall, one of the best tracks on the CD.

10/10

Track 4: No Excuses

A lot of people seem to like this song, but I think it is one of the worst of the CD. It's catchy, but very repetitive, and Staley's voice is fairly monotonous in this track. Nothing special really, but still pretty good. Just doesn't live up to the standards that Alice In Chains sets.

6/10

Track 5: Whale & Wasp

This is the second strangest track Alice in Chains has ever made. It has no lyrics, but is hauntingly beautiful. With a mix of acoustic and electric guitar, and what seems to be some kind of stringed instrument, the song is like nothing Alice in Chains would ever do again. It's almost a ballad type song, except that it has no words, and clocks in under three minutes. Which, after listening to the song, you will realize all ballads should be like. Unfortunatly, it is missing the best thing about Alice in Chains; Layne Staley, so it isn't quite as good as some of the better songs on the CD, but still good none the less.

7/10

Track 6: Don't Follow

The most deceptive track on the CD is also one of best. A little over halfway through the track, the song changes tone drastically. It starts off rather slow and dreary, but it changes into a fairly fast beat track with some neat musical effects (is that a harmonica?) and Staley's voice changes entirely. The song is extremely bluesy, but still somehow fits into Alice In Chains singature style. This track really shows the diversity and genius of Alice in Chains

9/10


Track 7: Swing on This

Like Don't Follow, Swing on This, is a unique song. It doesn't really sound like anything else Alice in Chains had done up to this point (although it is reminiscint of some of the later tracks off of Alice in Chains). However, it just isn't as good as Don't Follow. It is still a great song though, but lacks that extra umph that could put it over the top.

7/10

Summary: Jar of Flies is a great CD, and really a turning point in Alice in Chain's music. Although it is highly progressive and inventive, Alice in Chains seems to be trying to incorperate too many musical styles all at one time. This is probably Alice in Chain's most progressive and experimental album, but it lacks the signature style that made Dirt such a huge hit.

Rating 4.5/5

GibsonPyro
02-25-2004, 03:35 PM
I think that's an overall fair reveiw. I love Jar of Flies, it was their first album I bought.
Good job!

br3ad_man
02-26-2004, 04:19 AM
I don;t have this CD, but I'll consider it, thanks to your great review :thumb:

ZEROthirtythree
03-16-2004, 02:48 PM
*bump*

i love Track 5: "Whale & Wasp." The absence of Staley has no effect on me. The only problem with the album is that its so short. I give it a 3.75/5

Theleftside2
03-16-2004, 03:20 PM
It's not an album it's an EP.

Alice in Chains had also released another EP before it called SAP.

The reason they released Jar of Flies was because Stone Temple Pilots were releasing a similar CD and Alice In Chains decided to just release it as an EP instead to get it out faster. At this time Layne was deep into his heroin addiction. This caused Alice In Chains to cancel any up and coming shows until their Unplugged performance.

MuRd0K
08-04-2004, 09:25 PM
Track 6: Don't Follow

The most deceptive track on the CD is also one of best. A little over halfway through the track, the song changes tone drastically. It starts off rather slow and dreary, but it changes into a fairly fast beat track with some neat musical effects (is that a harmonica?) and Staley's voice changes entirely. The song is extremely bluesy, but still somehow fits into Alice In Chains singature style. This track really shows the diversity and genius of Alice in Chains

9/10

For the first 2 minutes, Jerry Cantrell is singing, and when the song turns upbeat, is when Layne Staley starts singing.

Good review other than that.

mexicanfloydian
08-07-2004, 05:43 PM
This is a good album, but it's very short.

Vlad_The_Moose
08-07-2004, 08:21 PM
Good review... definitely consider getting this album since it's not pure grunge and has some good acoustic work
Thanx for the review

Just realizing... whale&wasp sounds like something Joe Satriani would write!

LoveBuzzed
08-12-2004, 10:48 PM
Track 6: Don't Follow

The most deceptive track on the CD is also one of best. A little over halfway through the track, the song changes tone drastically. It starts off rather slow and dreary, but it changes into a fairly fast beat track with some neat musical effects (is that a harmonica?) and Staley's voice changes entirely. The song is extremely bluesy, but still somehow fits into Alice In Chains singature style. This track really shows the diversity and genius of Alice in Chains




Im not trying to be a dick or anything but you sure dont know a whole lot about Alice In Chains bub. You mention a few itmes how Layne's voice changes completely, well.....Jerry sings on No Excuses and this song too on this album. The change in voice isnt Layne's on Dont Follow. All the parts like "Say Goodbye, Dont Follow," all the slow parts, are sung by Mr.Cantrell. And yes that is a harmonica in Dont Follow. I didnt think it could be more obvious?

BirdsOfFires
08-13-2004, 01:39 PM
Whale/Wasp > No Excuses?

?DAS>!?

Wha??

Ophidian
08-18-2004, 11:44 PM
Alice in Chains wasn't riding on anyone's coattails..."Man in the Box" had gotten some decent airplay before Nevermind hit the charts. Overall, your review seemed uninformed, mostly guessing, but you did put some time into it. Fantastic album though.

SubtleDagger
08-19-2004, 12:10 AM
I always loved "I Stay Away", so I decided to learn how to play it a few years back. I took a look at the tab and gave up pretty quickly. Maybe sooner or later I'll go for it again, but that was a crazy guitar deal.

tamaholic
08-19-2004, 02:27 AM
HIGHLY recommend this album

Velvet Jones
08-30-2004, 10:00 PM
It's a great study in textures, that's for sure.

Here are some other random facts about the album from an old AIC-head:

- The EP was written and recorded in 7 days.
- Jar of Flies debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart.
- Jar of Flies was the first EP ever to have debuted at #1 position on the Billboard chart.

seveas
09-21-2004, 09:25 PM
i agree with most of the review except that 6 for No Excuses...it's just awesome that song!just like almost every songs by alice in chains really...my favourite band of all time!