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Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Second Coming of the Seattle Music Scene

For those who embraced the Grunge movement, otherwise known as the Seattle Music Scene, which saw its peak during the 90's, prepare yourself for the second coming as a trio of the biggest bands of that era could all be releasing new music this year.

Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains are all on schedule to have new music ready this year, an assumed unplanned but very exciting alignment of their individual timeline. In 2011, Pearl Jam celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of their massively successful debut album "Ten" in fine style by headlining a series of shows featuring many guest appearances. During that year, the band also began working on a new album to follow their 2009 release "Backspacer". The band also released reissued versions of their second and third albums, Vs. and Vitalogy, respectively, in 2011 as part of the celebration. They had previously reissued "Ten" in 2009, in a number of fan-friendly and budget-friendly variations. Before that, at the dawn of 2010, Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell announced that the band's hiatus had ended, and new music was being written. The band played several shows and worked on new material, which is tentatively scheduled for a 2012 release. Back in 2007, Alice In Chains returned with an impressive album, "Black Gives Way To Blue", its title track a stunning tribute to founding member and singer Layne Staley who died tragically 5 years before. After touring for the album, the band returned to the studio and has been working on new music, which could be released this year as well.

Another band of that area, widely recognized as the most popular, was Nirvana, who disbanded following the death of singer/guitarist/lyricist Kurt Cobain, the result of an alleged suicide. Drummer Dave Grohl formed his own band called Foo Fighters, with Dave on lead guitar and vocals, and Foo Fighters released "Wasting Light" in 2011, nominated for album of the year at the 54th Grammy Awards.

While Soundgarden took a hiatus and Alice In Chains and Nirvana both disbanded due to the tragic loss of their frontman, Pearl Jam remained active and is one of my all-time favorite bands. Over the last couple of years, through the reissues of their early albums and Backspacer and their anniversary shows, it's easy to see that these guys are really grateful to have lasted and are more solid than ever. With an album already behind them since their return, and a positive outlook on the future, the second chapter in the career of Alice In Chains may prove to be a lasting one as well. Only time will tell if the return of Soundgarden will last, but fan reaction to their first shows since reforming have been very positive.

There are many highly anticipated albums being released this year, but for me, none more highly anticipated than the ones from these three bands. Please share your excitement for new music from these bands, or any other releases you're waiting for.

2 comments:

Matthew S said...

Better late than never? ;)- Saw the Soundgarden show last summer and was totally stoked I had my second chance to see them as I missed the boat during their first run. I love their new album, but maybe they were tired, or maybe its their normal concert behavior...but they hardly moved at all...they stood in place and played their instruments like robot warriors from a lost dimension. I was simultaneously excatic I was their yet a little disappointed. Still love the album though...and the music was great! Played a lot of old songs as well. Alice N Chains i'm kinda on the sideline about...I thought they found someone to sound like Layne, but all I hear is Jerry trying to sound like Layne...it just sounds like the old days backup singing without the frontman.. bummer because some of the newer sounds have potential.. I could go on and on with this subject. Nice to find your blog! (my all-but-abandoned blog- http://mobias.blogspot.com)

Jason Kentros said...

Regarding Soundgarden, I can see your point about a stiff live show killing some of the excitement, but after returning from their hiatus they're more focused on the music than the "performance" aspect of a concert. Like you, love the album, but was never as much of a fan of them as PJ, and if I was going to see them live it would have been from the Superunknown era.

Regarding AIC, the way William joined the band was not at all the result of the search for a Layne clone. There was no search, he was the first guy even considered after playing a few AIC songs with Jerry. I think they've just pushed the two-part harmonies more because aside from the music it was that vocal style that really set AIC apart. I think both of the albums done with Duvall are great and have songs that stand up to the best of the AIC catalog.