I remember reading a story in the Hot Metal mag I used to buy about the “Clash Of The Titans” tour. It talked about how an unknown opening band called “Alice In Chains” got booed and garbage thrown at them. The review went on to say how they kept on delivering an energetic set and it’s a band to watch for the future.
But I still didn’t commit.
I taped the video clips “Man In The Box”, “Would” and “Down In A Hole” on a VHS tape. Watched em, like how I did the 80’s clips.
But I still didn’t commit.
And then “Jar Of Flies” came out and I purchased.
So why did I buy this album?
It was a guitar transcription of “Rotten Apple” in Guitar School that sealed the deal.
The guitar riff in the intro hooked me in. It’s in the vein of Em to D (or Dm to C depending on the key) chord progressions which I dig.
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home
Even when we are surrounded by family and friends, we feel alone. There is always something which triggers these feelings.
I Stay Away
This song was also transcribed in the guitar magazines, and so it should, as the riff is pretty cool.
It was a no brainer to buy this album after “Jar Of Flies”. I committed to the band and now I needed to complete my collection.
I used to cover this song in a band I was in. I love that opening riff, and how it morphs into the half time feel in the Verse’s. Also the lead break, rocks. And the main thing which stands out is the phrasing of the vocal melodies.
Dam That River
It’s a heavy rock song and a bloody damn good one at that. Again the riffs hook me in, the vocal phrasing stands out and the lead break, also rocks.
Rain When I Die
The groove is addictive and the slower tempo makes every note of the riffs stand out.
Down In A Hole
In the key of A minor (one of my favourite keys, just think of all the white keys on the piano, they are the notes in the A minor scale).
The melodies hook me in and the lyrical message is deep. You could take it in a good way or in a bad way. I always saw music as an escape, a release from the burdens of life. So listening to music, regardless of the lyrical message, gave me hope and strength to face any obstacle.
It’s got this exotic sounding riff which gets me.
How good is that clean tone riff?
If there is a song which sounds like the Seattle sound, then this is the one.
Another song I used to cover in bands.
The bass groove is excellent (of course I knew Mike Inez from his time with Ozzy and that “No More Tears” bass riff) which allows Jerry Cantrell to decorate the song with little embellishments here and there.
And I didn’t go any deeper after this album for some reason.
I doubled down into the sounds of the 70s during the 90s and snapped up any new release from the 80s artists in the 90s.
We fall in and out of love with artists.
Regardless, these two albums still stand the test of time and it’s cool to see AIC still making new music.
I did end up hearing the debut and self-titled album and apart from the singles, I couldn’t recall anything else that hooked me in.
And for the rebooted version of the band, I have streamed the albums and again I can’t recall anything that hooked me in.
But I’m still interested as I go back to hear them so I’ll see what comes next.