Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: Alice In Chains : "Would?"

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Friday, September 22, 2006

Alice In Chains : "Would?"

I picked up one of the bargain's of the year today, when I bought Alice In Chains seminal "Dirt" album packaged together with their "Unplugged" opus, for a measly £6 from Fopp Records.

I have been, meaning to buy AIC's unplugged set for a long time now, so getting it for such a small price was a nice bonus. I have also been able to replace my worn out copy of "Dirt" too, with a brand-spanking new disk.

Alice In Chains, for the uninitiated, were one of the more prominent members of Seattle's Grunge movement in the early 90's. Their sound was a unique blend of doomy, distorted and metallic riffing (courtesy of Jerry Cantrell), spooky vocal harmonines, classic rock structures and highly morbid lyrics.

"Dirt" is amazingly 15 years old next year and as I listen to it as I write, it still sounds as fresh as ever. From the driving "Dam The River", past the goulish "Godsmack", right through to the majestic "Down In A Hole", this is quite easily one of my favourite albums of all time.

Vocalist Layne Staley was one of the main contributor's to AIC's haunting style. His vocals could range from a classic rock howl right through to tortured wailing. A look at song titles such as "Godsmack", "Sickman" and "Down In A Hole" portray Staley's battle with his demons and heroin addiction. An addiction which eventually cost him his life in 2002.

It was a grizzly end for one of the most talented frontmen in rock history. Leaving behind a legacy and a truly remarkable and ultimately tragic band. The video above ,"Would?", is probably the band's finest moment. Catching the band at the height of their powers, around the time when "Dirt" was released.


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