T Nation

Alice In Chains

Anyone else pick up the new Alice In Chains album “Black Gives Way To Blue”?
Goddamn it’s good. Rock/ heavy metal is alive and well.
Can’t believe how much Jerry Cantrell sounds like Layne Staley.

As a fan since their first album release, I was very unhappy that they picked up a new singer after Layne’s death and actually sang Layne’s songs in concert! Stayley was a fucking mess, and it’s HIS pain in those tracks. It’s disingenuous for anyone else to sing them.

Anyway, the new song… I like it - ALOT! And the new singer is the one who sounds a bit like Layne, not Jerry.

You’re probably used to hearing old AIC where Jerry and Layne double-dutied the vocals, so of course you might think he sounds like Layne since he was half of that equation.

Aside from Soundgarden, AIC was the best band from that old grunge thing.

Hey Poop, check out the comments on the YouTube page for the vid. Some idiots are actually saying Nickelback beats AIC.

LMFAO!

x2. AiC has been a staple of mine since the EP days. Staley was, IMO, one of the best of the ‘Grunge era’ singers second only to Scott Weiland (Ok, flame away), but as I.D. stated he was just a mess.

When Cobain took a blast to the head, I felt sorry for the guy, but it didn’t mean much to me (not a big Nirvana fan), but when Staley died, it pissed me off because it was just a complete waste. Death by stupidity and a tremendous and unique voice gone.

That said, this latest AiC album captures the feel of AiC at their height with Cantrell picking up a lot of the vox (I’m a fan of the earlier stuff, but it’s all good).

DuVall (new singer) does a great job of capturing the essence of AiC. When I first heard the first release (Check My Brain) with him, I actually thought it was a post-mortem release of AiC with Staley in the mix.

Not flaming you, SD, but I think Chris Cornell in his heyday was nearly unbeatable vocally.
And I am a huge STP fan. Overall STP was a better band, IMHO. But Cornell was just in the stratosphere as far as ability goes.

Best AIC album: Dirt

Just sayin’.

I stand corrected guys. I saw a video clip of Cantrell singing one of the new songs live and assumed he sang it all.

Don’t even get me started on Nickelback…
F***ing drivel ; )

An yep, Dirt is very very hard to surpass.

AIC…drop D tuning at it’s best.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Not flaming you, SD, but I think Chris Cornell in his heyday was nearly unbeatable vocally.
And I am a huge STP fan. Overall STP was a better band, IMHO. But Cornell was just in the stratosphere as far as ability goes.

Best AIC album: Dirt

Just sayin’.[/quote]

Yeah, I knew I’d raise a few hackles with that claim :wink: Cornell is definitely the biggest powerhouse vocalist of the era. Don’t get me wrong, I love that dude’s vocals!

I’ll be honest, I thought the whole Grunge thing was an absolute low point in music history, except for the few early bands like STP, AiC, and Soundgarden. Never was a big Pearl Jam or Nirvana fan. I thought most of the other bands that became the ‘mainstream alternative’ were just God-awful.

I’m hesitant to even call STP “grunge”, as I think their style was more of an evolution of melodic hard rock versus the simple chording and muddiness of the typical grunge band of the day. Alice in Chains managed to become more than the prototypical grunge band.

When the grunge scene hit, my own guitar playing went the way of heavy fusion/jazz, having been weened on blues, funk, and metal.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
I’ll be honest, I thought the whole Grunge thing was an absolute low point in music history, except for the few early bands like STP, AiC, and Soundgarden. [/quote]

Perhaps in many respects that’s true. On the other hand, for someone like myself who loved 70’s metal (and all that metal was suposed to be, i.e. ugly, dark, heavy etc) grunge brought back those elements where they had been watered down with wimpy keyboards, stupid lyrics, and even worse faggy wardrobes and poofy hairstyles of the 80’s hairbands. To me, one of the lowest points in music (aside from disco) was the 80s hairmetal scene.
Yeah, grunge spawned a lot of shitty knock-offs, but at least it helped rid us of heavy metal’s “faggot little brother”.

lol

I agree SteelyD…If you listen to Lithium on sat radio it’s the same twenty bands over and over all day. Not alot of good stuff to chose from.

The worst thing about that era was no tight jeans on chicks…seriously. There was a five year drought on tight buns or something. Baggy jeans were “in”. It was awfull. Yeah, I’m shallow.

I saw AIC open for Soundgarden. Small show. Still pretty early for both of them. Soundgarden blew them away. AIC sounded like they had 2 songs, 1 slow and 1 fast. I wasn’t into it. Not that my opinion matters.

[quote]gonugs wrote:
I saw AIC open for Soundgarden. Small show. Still pretty early for both of them. Soundgarden blew them away. AIC sounded like they had 2 songs, 1 slow and 1 fast. I wasn’t into it. Not that my opinion matters.[/quote]

Had to be a pre 1993 show. Cornell’s live vocals began to deteriorate after that. I saw them in '90 open for Faith No More and Voivod… and Cornell was God-like.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
I’ll be honest, I thought the whole Grunge thing was an absolute low point in music history, except for the few early bands like STP, AiC, and Soundgarden. [/quote]

Perhaps in many respects that’s true. On the other hand, for someone like myself who loved 70’s metal (and all that metal was suposed to be, i.e. ugly, dark, heavy etc) grunge brought back those elements where they had been watered down with wimpy keyboards, stupid lyrics, and even worse faggy wardrobes and poofy hairstyles of the 80’s hairbands. To me, one of the lowest points in music (aside from disco) was the 80s hairmetal scene.
Yeah, grunge spawned a lot of shitty knock-offs, but at least it helped rid us of heavy metal’s “faggot little brother”.

lol
[/quote]

Faggot little brother lol. I haven’t heard that one yet…so true. All though Pantera started off as a hair band and then became awesome. R.I.P. Dime. Fuck. Annivesary was on Monday btw. Was gonna start a thread on that but thought it would be a bummer.

I saw soundgarden when they toured with NIN, 94’ I think…soundgarden were…meh. Kinda a crappy show and I remember the paper saying he had the flu. Cornell threatened to stop playing if people kept throwing water bottles at him lol.

Like the new album alot.

AIC have been getting some criticism for getting a new singer and keeping their name, but IMO its entirely unfair. If a drummer (Bon Scott), bassist (Cliff Burton) or guitarist (umm, insert some dead guitarist here) dies, they can seemingly be freely replaced without controversy. If a singer dies though, people can’t get over the “audacity” of the band.

Jerry Cantrell was equally or (IMO) moreso a part of Alice in Chains than Staley was. Does he have to give up his rights to the band name simply because his singer couldn’t stop sticking needles in himself?

And imma let you finish, but AIC is the best grunge band of all time!

[quote]PimpBot5000 wrote:
If a drummer (Bon Scott) … If a singer dies though, people can’t get over the “audacity” of the band.
[/quote]

To be clear, Bon Scott was most certainly not a drummer (at least not what he’s known for). Maybe you meant “Keith Moon”. Brian Johnson (who succeeded Bon Scott on AC/DC vox) was welcomed with open arms and Back in Black is their most successful album to date.

re: metal chicks

Ahhh, they days of denim and leather. Glad to see that’s back in vogue.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:

To be clear, Bon Scott was most certainly not a drummer (at least not what he’s known for). Maybe you meant “Keith Moon”. Brian Johnson (who succeeded Bon Scott on AC/DC vox) was welcomed with open arms and Back in Black is their most successful album to date.

[/quote]

You’re absolutely right, my mistake. Lets go with Moon the Loon then.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]gonugs wrote:
I saw AIC open for Soundgarden. Small show. Still pretty early for both of them. Soundgarden blew them away. AIC sounded like they had 2 songs, 1 slow and 1 fast. I wasn’t into it. Not that my opinion matters.[/quote]

Had to be a pre 1993 show. Cornell’s live vocals began to deteriorate after that. I saw them in '90 open for Faith No More and Voivod… and Cornell was God-like.[/quote]

Louder Than Love had just come out, so it would have been around '89. Small club in Portland. Soundgarden was amazing.

Anyone who says the “grunge” movement was a low point in music history automatically can’t be taken seriously. That was the last time anything played on the radio was worth a shit. I own all of AIC’s albums. I think Pearl Jam is the best band of the 90’s, and it’s not even close, but AIC was my favorite. The pain in Staley’s voice was haunting. I read a biography on him shortly after his death and that dude was the definition of “a mess”.

Check out Mad Season for some more amazing Staley vocals. Also, Soundgarden is fucking awesome [and top 10 90’s] and Cornell has one of the best voices of all time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3px0m1Y9Tuc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvPIgZ0T01w

Hmm… yeah I agree 80’s hair metal was the worst. It got worse of course towards the end and something had to change. IE… Slaughter… Firehouse… Mr. Big… etc etc. Even Motley Crue… With songs like “Your invited but your friend can’t come” or “Girl don’t go away mad… just go away”. We needed something real from music again. Grunge brought that.

Just like with hard rock the decade before… the suits brought in immitators of lesser and lesser quality in order to cash in. Don’t blame the original grunge bands for that. The new AIC is very good… but have to disagree with peeps on a couple things… namely Pearl Jam! They are definitely my number one band from the time period and they are still putting out music.

Regarding stp… not to rag on you SD… but you ever see Scott Weiland in concert? He definitely has a lot of 80’s rock star in him with his stage presence and everything. Very showboaty and cheesy. Not my thing at all but he can definitely sing.

I’ve seen STP in concert and yes Weiland a little showboaty but it was probably do to the drug usage.

I’m not really into the new AIC, but i love some of their older stuff because i grew up on grunge. Jar of Flies had to be their best work. An almost flawless ep.