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!