Sunday, July 21, 2013

If I Could Would You?

I'm a tourist when it comes to Alice in Chains.  I don't often seek them out but over the years I found myself accidentally encountering them on soundtracks, in clubs, on  the radio, while watching video clips etc. until I couldn't help but deny the obvious fact: They are brilliant. I can't help but be mesmerised by them.  Layne Staley has a voice to be believed.  I am a fan of screamers who can actually sing (Chris Cornell, Kat Bjelland etc.) and Layne was one of the best.

Alice in Chains definitely had a 'heavy' sound but there was something also very contemplative or melancholic in the strum of the string and the build up in many of their songs.  You can almost meditate to Rooster, for instance.

One of my favourite songs of theirs is also one of their best known: Would.

When I was a teen it was played on "alternative" radio and I can't remember loving it at first listen.  The song is a slow burn, or perhaps it was for me.  It took a while to love and by the time I did I couldn't imagine not ever loving it.  In fact, now can't imagine my personal musical history without this song in it. By the time we turned 18 and the friendship group graduated to going to pubs it always seemed to be the song that got everyone up on the dance floor.  I suppose this is indicative of the types of places we frequented (ie: dives) - grungy places where bands played and the music was so loud that you couldn't hear yourself think.  Let me make this clear; Would is NOT the kind of song one dances to but somehow we managed to. I listen to it now and wonder how we even moved to it.  I guess we were shitfaced and loved singing along while getting even more shitfaced.  I have a lot of very good memories with this song as the sole soundtrack.  It makes me smile to think of the mischief we all got up to.

What is it about this song?  I don't think I can quite articulate how the vocals bury somewhere in my sternum when I listen to it; hitting somewhere primal and deep.  Where does that voice come from?  Not this world I don't think. I'd put it in my top 100 songs of all time.

Would - Alice in Chains

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