Alice in Chains
Dirt


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mekkalayakay USER (11 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 154 replies | 35,784 views


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist


7 of 11 thought this review was well written

Alice in Chains is a great band. I never really knew much about them until I bought their album, Dirt, about a week ago. When I popped that CD into my CD player, I was in awe. I actually said to myself, "I've been missing out." I will update you with some history on the band. This album is dark, haunting, and beautiful, and I hope you can feel the same way about this album as I have. Here is a brief history description on the band by Everett True, that I agree with completely, accept for the part where she/he talks about how the song God Smack is a little bit of the pop genre.

Alice in Chains were initially tagged with the "grunge" moniker, when in fact their haunting, ponderous sound was far closer to the progressive rock of Queensryche. Their second album, Dirt, is a moody, portentous affair, filled with occasionally inspired riffing from guitarist Jerry Cantrell and hair-tossed wailing from singer Layne Staley. Perhaps the band got lumped in with Generation X because their lyrics focused upon depression, death, and drugs. Certainly, titles such as "Down in a Hole," "Junkhead," and "Hate to Feel" didn't leave much room for doubt as to Cantrell's perspective. The quartet did have a slightly lighter, almost poppy side to them, though, as "God Smack" and "Hate to Feel" indicate. Ultimately, Dirt is classic angst rock.

Here is a review on all the songs on this album.

#1. Them Bones- This song starts out heavy. There isn't much of an intro. AIC just decided to cut right to the main verse. The harmonys between Cantrell and Staley are amazing in this song. I felt that this song had a lot of meaning to it. It is also one of my favorite songs on the album. I give it a 9.5/10

#2. Dam The River- I used to skip over this song quite a bit. I just started listening to it about 2 days ago. It starts off with a great guitar riff, then going straight to a little mini-solo type thing. Staley and Cantrell once again go into harmony both on the same note, but different octaves. I love Staley's voice in the song, especially in the chorus, where he shouts "Oh you couldn't dam that river! And maybe I don't give a damn anyway". I give this song an 8.5/10

#3. Rain When I die- I gave this song another chance. At first, I rated it a 4/10. I had previously only listened to the first minute or so of the song, where I find it drags a bit. But when I listened to more of it and actually heard the whole song through, my opinion on the song completely changed. The chorus is outstanding. The song has a lot of energy to it also. This song=9/10

#4. Down in a Hole- I LOVE the intro to this song. This song is AIC's slower song of the album. The song starts off with a smoothing guitar sound. The drummer does a nice job of staying out of the way in this song, but not getting too sloppy. The chorus to this song is incredible. You can almost feel Staley's emotion when singing this song. Great song. 8/10

#5. Sickman- This song is one of my favorite songs on the album at the moment. Staley's voice gets a little more aggressive. The verse is awesome, the chorus is awesome, the whole song all together is awesome. I find that the best part of the song is right before the chorus when Staley and Cantrell both are shouting "AhhhhHHHHh!", again in harmony slowly going up to different notes. This is a great song. 10/10

#6. Rooster- If I am not mistaken, Rooster was a single for this album. Rooster is also in my top 3 favorites for the album. Rooster, like Down in a Hole is a slower song on the album. At about 30 seconds into the song, Cantrell and Staley once AGAIN do a nice harmony that fits with the guitar extremely well. Staley's voice is almost haunting in this song. I still can't figure what the song's about, but that makes the song even better. :D 10/10

#7 Junkhead- Junkhead is another one of my favorites on this album. The song starts off like a classic, with the drummer counting off on the hi-hats. The Staley goes into harmonics with the guitar shouting "yeah". I like Staley's voice the best in this song. However, I didn't like the lyrics in this song too much, taking the rating down to a 7.5/10

#8-Dirt- Dirt is another song I tend to skip over, yet I don't know why. Cantrell starts off with an awesome riff with his wah pedal that completely makes the song. Staley really lets his anger out on this one. However, I don't find the song too catchy, giving it a rating of 6/10

#9 God Smack- God Smack is one of my favorite songs at this point in time, along with a whole bunch of other songs on the album. Staley and Cantrell start off with these harmonics on the guitar that are awesome. Then Staley sings with a really shaky voice in this song, which gives the song the extra "umph". Some fools clame that AIC ripped off the band, Godsmack. However, if they were smarter, they'd realize that AIC was around before Godsmack. 10/10

#10- #10- Kind of like the joke song of the CD. There are just bits of laughter and haunting guitar rhythms. Continuous laughing repeats throughout the whole song, until at the end, someone shouts "Redrum!" Which is hilarious. I always enjoy this song, even if it is only 43 seconds long. 9/10

#11- Hate to Feel- When I just sit down and listen to it, it ends up being one of my many favorites. the harmony's again between Staley and Cantrell are amazing. They both sing together throughout most of the song. The guitar is incredible in this song, along with the drums. This is a great song with an incredible chorus. I love this song! 10/10

#12- Angry Chair- I tend to skip this song quite a bit. The beginning is quite odd actually. I don't get it. When I actually don't skip over the song, I end up liking it. This song is actually quite good. Somehow, someway, Cantrell, Staley, and their haunting guitars somehow find a way to mix together perfectly, which makes this song excellent. 8/10

#13- Would?- This was the very first AIC song I heard. I got hooked after this song. Would is one of AIC's haunting songs. Staley just pours his emotions in his singing more than any other song in this song. The bass and guitar are very smooth sounding throughout the song. And the drums are excellent too, getting that classic sound on the bell of the ride to keep the time. My favorite part of this song is in the last minute. Staley does these weird trills with his voice that leaves you hanging at the end of the song, making you want more; hence, you go back to the beginning of the song and listen all the way through again. I love this song! 10/10

Alice in Chains is a great band that I hope one of you that read this can get into. They have definately changed my perspective on music, and I hope they change yours. Thanks for reading this!

-Trooper



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user ratings (2946)
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4.4
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BirdsOfFires
November 22nd 2003



92 Comments


I'm so offended.
I'm a huge AiC fan. Dude. What. The. F[i][/i]uck.
"Rain When I Die" is their best song. Ever. With the possible exception of "Would?" or "No Excuses".

Besides that, nice review. It's nice to see another AiC fan on the boards. :o

JAStewart
November 22nd 2003



180 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Your track listing is different to mine... Down in a Hole is #11 on mine and Rooster is #5

Mekkalayakay
November 22nd 2003



167 Comments


Originally posted by JAStewart
Your track listing is different to mine... Down in a Hole is #11 on mine and Rooster is #5


hmmm... The track listing I listed up there is correct for my cd. Maybe they remastered it and changed the track listing??
Because I just got this cd a week ago.

BoFs-I'm a dumbass. I just listened to the whole song and I am amazed. It was a case of immature song listening. I only listened to the first minute or so. I didn't here the chorus.
Thanks for pointing that out now dude. That is a great song. :thumb:

I changed it on the review.

And there is this major AIC fan in the R&M forum. I forgot his name but he has AiC in his username. And he runs the "Best album of the 90's thread. You could talk to him if you want.
And Leftside2 is also a big fan.

JAStewart
November 22nd 2003



180 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review anyway.

BirdsOfFires
November 22nd 2003



92 Comments


Originally posted by Thy Trooper

BoFs-I'm a dumbass. I just listened to the whole song and I am amazed. It was a case of immature song listening. I only listened to the first minute or so. I didn't here the chorus.
Thanks for pointing that out now dude. That is a great song. :thumb:


Yes it is. :o

You're talking about AiC)WeaponX.. or something like that. He's cool but he only likes AiC.

Vegetable Man
November 22nd 2003



2 Comments


The only problem that i have with Dirt is that it's too generic, the songs are all really heavy metal songs, and they don't really sound the same it's just that i tend to skip over quite a few songs. I like Facelift a lot more because a lot of the songs on that album are different.

Rooster
November 23rd 2003



1 Comments


Rooster's about Cantrell's father who served in 'nam. The Vietnamise referred to the eagals on flags beared by the US army as roosters because they'd never seen eagals before and rooster farming is very important in Vietnam.

Cool review dude, but I think you were kinda harsh on the title track and Junkhead.

JAStewart
November 23rd 2003



180 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Junkhead has cool lyrics.


*Doesn't do any kind of drugs*

epifreak2002
December 7th 2003



63 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Junkhead would be the only one I'd call skipworthy, but I do agree with you that unless you stick it out, Rain When I Die isn't very good, but if you stay with it and listen to the whole thing, it's worth it. Where you said that some think AIC ripped off Godsmack, it's actually the other way around. Godsmack was interviewed and pretty much copped to stealing from AIC (badly if you ask me) Great review, keep up the good work.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
December 11th 2003



2125 Comments


Question: If I want to buy 1 AiC cd should I buy Dirt or Best Of

JohnTheFisherman
December 11th 2003



15 Comments


Dirt

br3ad_man
Emeritus
February 23rd 2004



2125 Comments


This is an old one, but yeah, sweet review buddy. I hate the lyrics to Junkhead, hearing about drug stuff like that makes me feel sick. This album is a grunge masterpiece.

JAStewart
February 23rd 2004



180 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah but just because you don't want to hear about it doesn't mean its not gonna happen. Many people take drugs. And trust me, if you like it, it doesn't mean that you are a druggie.

I think that that song is amazing!

Get Dirt.

JohnTheFisherman
February 23rd 2004



15 Comments


[QUOTE=br3ad_man]This is an old one, but yeah, sweet review buddy. I hate the lyrics to Junkhead, hearing about drug stuff like that makes me feel sick. This album is a grunge masterpiece.[/QUOTE]

A good portion of chains' songs have things to do with drugs. Dirt came out right after Staley started to shoot up, and you can really tell the drug references in a bunch of songs.

Hate to Feel, Down in a Hole, Godsmack, Junkhead etc... most of the CD actually.

epifreak2002
February 23rd 2004



63 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

[QUOTE=JohnTheFisherman]A good portion of chains' songs have things to do with drugs.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, but most of them aren't as "in your face" about it. Junkhead has some pretty dumb lyrics, whereas songs like Would, though about the same thing, analyze it more intelligently.

Mango Kid
February 28th 2004



3 Comments


In my opinion this is one of the best cds of the '90s.
R.I.P Staley.

boldstranger
February 28th 2004



2 Comments


Whoever said that "rain when i die" is the best song... ya, it is the best song on here. I also really liked "dirt" which the maker didnt rate that high.

ZEROthirtythree
February 28th 2004



234 Comments


I never get tired of dirt

The NPC
February 28th 2004



101 Comments


Dirt is easily one of the wost albums I've ever heard, but everyone has their favorites.

Drall
February 29th 2004



5 Comments


Which do you guys think is probably better? Facelift or Dirt?...

I don't know..For me it's probably Dirt...But Facelift still reigns as the best debut album in existence.


Dirt is easily one of the wost albums I've ever heard, but everyone has their favorites.


Why do you even bother posting in this thread if you don't like the album?



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