In this Music Monday Blog, we are going to get into the new release from Alice In Chains. The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is their fifth studio record from this Metal Grunge band.
Alice In Chains was formed in 1987 by original lead singer Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell, who is the lead guitar player. The band was filled out with Sean Kinney, who is the drummer that was in another band with Jerry, along with original bassist Mike Starr. Alice In Chains signed with Columbia Record in 1989. They release their first official release which was their EP We Die Young. The huge success of the EP Columbia rushed the band back in the studio to record their first full studio record, which was called Dirt. Dirt was release in July 1990. In 1991, Man In The Box music video hit the MTV rotation and the band did not look back since. In 1993, Mike Starr left the band during the band’s tour and was replaced by Mike Inez. It is kind hard to believe this is true, however, the summer of 1993 Alice In Chains did their last major tour with Layne Staley under Lollapalooza. Alice In Chains went back into the studio with acoustic guitars to record songs, which was never supposed to be release. This EP became the first EP to be at the top of the charts. Jar Of Flies had such hits like No Excuses, I Stay Away, and Don’t Follow. Before 1994 tour, Layne went into rehab for his drug issues. This tour would have had Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies, Danzing, and Fight but Layne went back using heroin. This forced Alice In Chains to pull out of the tour and was replaced by Candlebox. Alice In Chains was not active in the beginning of 1995 which led Layne Staley to join the supergroup, who was Mad Season, for one release. In the middle part of 1995, Alice In Chains enters the studio for the final record with original lead singer Layne Staley. This self title called by the record company but the band called it Grind. This 1995 release had four hits on it, which three of the songs had Jerry Cantrell as the lead singer. The band choose not to support the record with a tour, which is believe there was drug abuse in the band again. The band did a live show for the famous MTV Unplugged, which was their first live show in three years. The band went on to do a few live shows with reunited Kiss with their original line up. I saw them for the first time at old Tiger Stadium on June 28th, 1996. Layne Staley last show live was on July 3rd, 1996 in Kansas City. Jerry Cantrell and the rest of his band mates recorded his first solo record, which was Boggy Depot, which was supposed to be Alice In Chains songs but Layne could not record new music. In 1998, Alice In Chains with reunited Layne Staley went into the studio to record Layne’s two final record songs. The two songs, which are Get Borned Again and Died, were suppose to be on Jerry Cantrell’s second solo record, which was Degradetion Trip. Jerry Cantrell’s second solo record he dedicated the record to Layne Staley after finding out about his death in 2002. Mike Starr pasted on in 2011 with years of drug abuse. In 2005, Alice In Chains reunite with new lead singer Willian DuVall. They released their fourth studio record and first with new lead singer called Black Gives Away To Blue in 2009. Alice In Chains has released five studio records, two live records, a few greatest hits, and three EPs. Let us get into this record.
Hollow has that classic Alice In Chains riff style. It has the old school Alice In Chains feeling. The vocal is what made Alice In Chains back in the day and today. I know this song and record has it through out. The drums and bass playing is pretty solid. This is a great opening track for their second record with new lead singer William DuVall. AIC (Alice In Chains) has done a great job on the music and I am joining the guitar solo does the end of the song.
Pretty Done just like Hollow does not miss a beat. There is some solid music so far on this record. I am loving the lyrics so far on both songs. This record so far sounds like their last record which is not a bad thing. The last record was a great comeback record for AIC. Jerry has a solid guitar solo halfway through the song. There is solid playing on Pretty Done and a nice finish to it.
I am loving the bass and drums start to Stone. It reminds me of the old days of AIC. The guitars are solid too. Jerry and William singing is perfect just like when Layne and Jerry did it on the first three records. I am loving the lyrics like the other two songs. I love the break on the music. There is a nice guitar break and then turns into a nice guitar solo halfway period of the song.
I love the start of Voices with the distance and then fade in with the acoustic guitars. Voices reminds me of something I would have heard off Jars of Flies EP. There is some pretty solid lyrics along with some great music. This is one of my favorite songs off this record so far. I really like how they went back to use the acoustic guitars. I have always thought that Jar of Flies was the best music they have ever put out. This is a very talented band and I am glad they are still around.
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
I love the start of this song and I also love how everyone is playing different things. It gives a different feeling to the song. This is a pretty creepy song so far. This has a little Black Sabbath feeling in the music. I will be honest I am not a huge fan of the lyrics but the music is pretty good. Mike is walking up and down his bass guitar. Asides the lyrics, I just feel like this song is too long for itself. I hate to say this about the title track of the record. At least, it has a pretty solid ending.
Lab Monkey has a weird start on the guitar. The drums and bass are pretty strong when they come into the song. William has some pretty solid singing. I love how they are able to keep the old AIC singing style. I was afraid this band would be doomed with a new singer. This is a pretty good song from the music and lyrics. I love the wah petal on the guitar towards the end of the song. Lab Monkey picks up with the creepy stand point like The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. There is nothing wrong with that. It is a great song.
Low Ceiling has that Man In The Box guitar riff kind of at the beginning but changes through it. This song reminds me of something and I just do not know what it is. There is some great music and lyrics on Low Ceiling. I am loving the drumming along with the bass playing. Jerry does not have the best guitar solo but it is fitting for the song but the later part of it is gets better.
Breath On A Window
Breath On A Window has some great guitar playing with great playing by bass and drums. There is some great lyrics and music. This record has not been a disappointment. AIC has done a great job so far. There is a nice guitar break halfway through the song. I am loving the guitar work towards the end of the song.
Scalpel has acoustic guitar at the beginning with some great singing. Once again, I love this band that brings out the acoustic guitars. There is nice music and lyric writing throughout this song. This is a nice calming song and it is not in your face. There is some great singing between Jerry and Will on this song.
I love the strong guitar riff along with the drums echoing it. The music is solid with some great lyrics dancing on top of it. I love the music changes throughout Phantom Limb. There is a nice guitar solo towards the later parts of the song. AIC has done a great job on this song. I am pretty speechless on it. I love how they ended the song.
Hung On A Hook
Hung On A Hook has a great start. There is some pretty interesting music and singing. I am enjoying the pace of the music. There is a ton going on in this song. AIC still has it and I am looking forward to seeing this music and the band live. I love the turn in the music towards the end. There is some nice guitar effects.
The last song is Choke has the perfect ending song for this record. I love the drums with the bass echoing it. Of course, there is a nice touch on the acoustic guitars. This song sounds like it could have been on the last record. There is some great lyrics and music once again from AIC. This is a great song to finish this great record. I love the guitar work towards the end of the song. It also has a great ending to Choke and the record.
Band Line Up From 1987 to 1993
- Layne Staley – Lead Singer
- Jerry Cantrell – Lead Guitar, Back Up Singer
- Sean Kinney – Drums, Piano
- Mike Starr – Bass
Bands Line Up From 1993 to 2002
- Layne Staley – Lead And Back Up Singer, Rhythm Guitar
- Jerry Cantrell – Lead Guitar, Lead And Back Up Singer
- Sean Kinney – Drums, Piano
- Mike Inez – Bass
Current Line Up From 2005 to Present
- William DuVall – Lead Singer And Back Up, Rhythm Guitar
- Jerry Cantrell – Lead Guitar, Lead Singer And Back Up Singer
- Sean Kinney – Drums, Piano
- Mike Inez – Bass
Here is their website and twitter addresses:
In closing, I enjoyed listening to this record and I am looking forward to listening to it a little bit more. This record is not their best record but Alice In Chains like a very few bands have not put out a bad record. Some bands have one song and they put some fillers songs around it just to get the record out. I am not saying Alice In Chains has a bunch singles on this record. They put some thoughts in their songs and their filler songs above average than the rest of the filler songs from other bands. I also love how they were able to keep their style and sound. It is hard for a band with some line up changes and big time with a loss of a orinigal singer. This is a very talented band and I am glad I was able to grow up listening to them and Candlebox and Stone Temple Pilots. I highly recommend this record and let me know what your thoughts are about this record. Drink it! Enjoy it! Metal it! \m/
Bill DJ Weiser
(History information was pulled from wikipedia website. The credit goes to them during my research.)