I was born into grunge, not in the physical sense – that would be just weird, but the grunge era was where I cut my musical teeth, where I explored my teenage years, the time I realised that cider gets you drunk really quick. The scattered memories from that time strongly include Alice in Chains, they helped formed the soundtrack to my rebellion. The melancholic drones of Rooster, Down in a Hole & Angry Chair allowed me to express my angst in ways other bands could only dream of.
Now, I’m not one for revelling in nostalgia, in fact I run from it and I expect that if a band is going to survive the generations then it needs to realise that times do indeed change. ‘The Devil Put The Dinosaurs Here’ appears to be an acknowledgement that times do change, however Alice in Chains seem to be struggling to break their own mould.
There are some great moments within the album, tracks such as Lab Monkey and Breath On A Window bring a fresher sound to the band while retaining the trademark ear candy. But in that lies a problem, the album feels way too long. In fact, certain tracks too easily allowed me to zone out only snapping back to realise I was then on a new track.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the album, I really do, but I just have a hard time getting through it without wandering off. Each track alone does enough to make me want to listen to more, but then when racked back to back, my attention span falters.
Even after feeling a bit disappointed at the overall result, I really hope that Alice in Chains push through and redefine themselves as something both current and nostalgic if that’s possible. With the 90’s still ringing in my head I must go and find a Nirvana Nevermind t-shirt and laugh disrespectfully at all the “trendies” that were plonking themselves on the floor during James’s “Sit Down”. Oh I miss those days!