label: sony / columbia
our score: 3.0 out of 5.0
In Chains lead singer Layne Staley screams "I want you to
kill me and dig me under , I wanna live no more" you realize
Alice In Chains: Live isn't exactly the feel good holiday
album of the year. Then again Alice In Chains certainly wasn't
the feel good band of the decade.
Chains: Live feels like a last ditch effort by Columbia records
to squeeze a few final dollars out of band that has been inactive
for the past four years due to drug addiction and turmoil among
band members. Although they haven't officially broken up this
release definitely has a posthumous feel to it - you certainly
get the feeling Columbia doesn't expect anything new from the
How else do
you explain a recently released box set from a band with only
three studio albums and a couple of EPs to their credit? But fans
who remain interested in the band
will certainly enjoy the 14 powerful live electric tracks provided
on this album designed to show their live heavy side, not the
soft live side we saw on Unplugged.
What we get
on this album are renditions of songs that are pretty true to
their studio counterparts, and the stark production of this album
authentically represents the feeling of an Alice In Chains show
from the early to mid 90's. It shows the band for exactly what
they were, a quality hard rock band with a tormented lead singer
that explored the deepest darkest parts of Seattle grunge.
any Paul Stanley-esque "We Love You People" on this
album from Chains front man Layne Staley. They loved to write
about heroin, the women who abuse them and questioning religion.
like "Dirt" and "Junkhead" find the band expounding
on drug abuse which is one of lead singer Staley's favorite topics....
strongest tracks include such rockers as "Them Bones"
and "Would?" both tracks show the heart of the band
, Staley and guitarist Jerry Cantrell, in top form. "Rooster"
shows the vocal abilities of Staley and Cantrell, they sound remarkably
alike. Their harmonizing is an aspect that was explored in detail
on Unplugged. Staley, at his best during "Love, Hate,
Love" sounds like a man that is truly in agony. It's almost
painful to listen to, but it's what he did best.
It was unfortunate
though that songs like "We Die Young" and "It Ain't
Like That" didn't make the album. Any album that would try
to truly represent the group's rocking side
should have included those songs.
to this album makes you realize how powerful a movement grunge
was, and how long ago it was. Songs as dark as "Them Bones"
and "Man In The Box" certainly wouldn't have been hits
in today's era of rock rap hybrids like Limp Bizkit and sugary
teen studio creations like N'Sync, but in the early 90's they
were commonplace at the top of the charts.
Alice In Chains
sang about and lived lives filled with darkness, drug addiction
and pain and although it may have made for some powerful quality
music, it eventually killed them.
liked Alice in Chains Live...