We’ve celebrated new album releases many times; this week we’re celebrating that and the rebirth of a great band. Seattle grunge greats Alice in Chains are back, and we’ve got them and new DLC. Two songs from the revitalized band’s just-released album Black Gives Way to Blue, plus three of their greatest hits from the first time around. So you don’t have to argue about whether Layne Staley or new guy William DuVall is a better singer - you can rock with both!
It’s been a long time coming - seven years in fact, since the overdose of original singer Staley. The band had no intention of carrying on after that, and it took a 2005 tsunami benefit in Seattle to bring the remaining three members back together under their old name. That show featured a number of guest singers, but over time it became clear that DuVall (who’d been working with guitarist Jerry Cantrell on his solo project) was the right man to step in. A fan since he first heard “Man in the Box,” DuVall sang with them first on a VH1 tribute to Heart, and from there he was singing to tens of thousands at a festival in Portugal. New material started pouring out, as the band worked out its grief over Staley and finding that the music still felt right. As Cantrell has said, “We’re evolving into what we could be now, not dishonoring what we’d been before.”
There are a few surprises on the album - including a guest spot by Elton John - but we’ve gone with “A Looking in View” and “Check My Brain,” which both sport a classic Alice sound. And if it’s the vintage stuff you want, we’ve got three of their biggest: “Would?” (the song that broke them off the Singles soundtrack), “No Excuses” (their stab at a lighter, acoustic-driven tune), and “Rooster” (Cantrell’s epic about his Vietnam-veteran father, with appropriate guitar firepower). If you were finally able to master “Man in the Box,” don’t look now - it’s time to get back to work.
The songs will be available on Xbox 360 and Wii on September 29th and PlayStation 3 October 1st.