The Battle of the Grunge Bands!
The Melvins are an American experimental sludge metal/grunge band that usually perform as a trio. Singer/guitarist Buzz Osborne (aka "King Buzzo") and drummer Dale Crover are constant members, but the band has been through several bass guitarists. They have occasionally added a guest or second guitarist for live performances. The band was named after a supervisor at the Thriftway in Montesano, Washington where Osborne served as a clerk (and vandal). Melvin was greatly despised, and the band's members felt it to be an appropriately ridiculous name.
The Melvins' music is influenced by Black Flag's My War era punk, slow rock acts like Swans, and, most notably Black Sabbath-style metal; however, their idiosyncratic approach, bizarre sense of humor, and experimentation make neat categorization difficult. They often favor very slow tempos, and their sludgy sound was a strong influence on grunge music, especially Nirvana, Soundgarden, and many other bands from Seattle. Their protegés, however, tended to use more conventional musical structures with this sound. The Melvins have also influenced many bands, including Tool, who are personal friends with the band; Crowbar, Mastodon who participated in a Melvins tribute album, and Boris, who took their name from title of a Melvins song.
The group has received mostly positive critical notice. Dale Crover's drumming has been especially praised; writer Patrick Kennedy describes his work as "astonishing, powerful, and daring."
Alice In Chains
Alice in Chains is an American grunge band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1987 by guitarist Jerry Cantrell and vocalist Layne Staley. Although widely associated with grunge music, the band's sound incorporates heavy metal, grunge, and acoustic elements. Since its formation, Alice in Chains has released three studio albums, three EPs, two live albums, four compilations, and two DVDs. The band is known for its distinct vocal style which often includes the harmonized vocals of Staley and Cantrell.
Soundgarden was an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1984 by lead singer and drummer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron later became the band's permanent drummer in 1986 and bassist Ben Shepherd later became a permanent replacement for Yamamoto in 1990. Soundgarden was one of the key bands in the creation of grunge music, a musical style that developed in Seattle and was based around their record label Sub Pop. Soundgarden was the first grunge band to sign to a major label, but they did not achieve commercial success until Seattle contemporaries Nirvana and Pearl Jam popularized grunge in the early 1990s.
Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has consisted of Eddie Vedder (lead vocals, guitar), Jeff Ament (bass), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), and Mike McCready (lead guitar). The band's current drummer is Matt Cameron, formerly of Soundgarden, who has been with the band since 1998.
Formed after the demise of Ament and Gossard's previous band Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam broke into the mainstream with its debut album Ten. One of the key bands of the grunge movement in the early 1990s, Pearl Jam was nevertheless criticized early on as being a corporate cash-in on the alternative rock explosion. However, its members became noted for their refusal to adhere to traditional music industry practices as their career progressed, including refusing to make music videos and engaging in a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster. Rolling Stone described the band as having "spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame."
Since its inception, the band has sold 30 million records in the U.S., and an estimated 60 million albums worldwide. Pearl Jam has outlasted many of its contemporaries from the alternative rock breakthrough of the early 1990s, and is considered one of the most influential bands of the decade, and "the most popular American rock band of the 1990s". Pearl Jam continues to generate hit albums, tour successfully, and garner critical acclaim into the 21st century.
Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, with the longest-lasting being Dave Grohl, who joined the band in 1990.
With the lead single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from their 1991 album Nevermind, Nirvana entered into the mainstream, bringing along with it a subgenre of alternative rock called grunge. Other Seattle grunge bands such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden also gained popularity, and, as a result, alternative rock became a dominant genre on radio and music television in the United States during the early-to-middle 1990s. As Nirvana's frontman, Kurt Cobain found himself referred to in the media as the "spokesman of a generation", with Nirvana the "flagship band" of "Generation X". Cobain was uncomfortable with the attention and placed his focus on the band's music, challenging the band's audience with their third studio album In Utero.
Nirvana's brief run ended with Cobain's death in April 1994, but the band's popularity continued in the years that followed. More than eight years later, "You Know You're Right", an unfinished demo from the band's final recording session, topped radio playlists around the world. Since their debut, the band has sold over fifty million albums worldwide.
Candlebox is a band from Seattle, Washington. Formed in November 1990, they originally named the band Uncle Duke; they later changed the name as a tribute to a Midnight Oil song. They were sometimes looked down upon by grunge fans for their style, which was considered by many to be a derivative version of true grunge, and their commercial success as a result of it. Despite this, the band played the Seattle club circuit during the early 1990s to many of the same fans who had supported many of the bands that had come immediately before them. The members did not consider Candlebox to be a grunge band however; they viewed themselves as a rock and roll band more than anything and their style reflected that. Nevertheless, Candlebox had sold more than 4 million copies of their self-titled debut which, after many months of gaining momentum peaked at number 7 on Billboard's album charts. The follow up album, Lucy, was certified gold in 1996. Candlebox was the first successful act on Madonna's Maverick Records, which went on to sign Alanis Morissette, Deftones, and The Prodigy.
Silverchair is an Australian alternative rock band. The band formed as "Innocent Criminals" in Newcastle, New South Wales, in 1992, with their current lineup of vocalist and guitarist Daniel Johns, bass guitarist Chris Joannou, and drummer Ben Gillies. Silverchair have been highly successful in the Australian recording industry, receiving the industry's flagship awards, the ARIA Awards, a record 20 times. The band has also received two APRA Awards.
Silverchair found early success when one of their first songs, "Tomorrow", won a local music competition run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Triple J rock radio network. The band were soon signed by Murmur, and were successful on the Australian and international rock stages. In 2003, following the release of Diorama, the band announced a hiatus, during which time members recorded with side projects The Dissociatives, The Mess Hall, and Tambalane. Silverchair reunited at the Wave Aid concerts, going on to release Young Modern and play the Across the Great Divide tour with Powderfinger.
Silverchair's alternative rock/post-grunge sound has remained consistent throughout their career, despite differing sounds on specific albums. The songwriting of Daniel Johns has been noted as improving steadily, while the band has developed an increased element of simplicity in later works.
Stone Temple Pilots
Stone Temple Pilots (abbreviated STP) is an American rock band that originally ran in the 1990s and early 2000s, with a reunion tour slated for the summer of 2008, consisting of Scott Weiland (vocals), brothers Robert (bass guitar, vocals) and Dean DeLeo (guitar), and Eric Kretz (drums, percussion). The reunion tour has been confirmed to kick off at the Rock on the Range festival in May. The band's five albums have sold over 17.5 million copies in the United States alone and over 30 million albums worldwide. The band had fifteen top ten singles on the Billboard rock charts, including six #1's, and one #1 album on the pop charts (1994's Purple). In 1994, the band won a Grammy for "Best Hard Rock Performance" for their song "Plush". Stone Temple Pilots were also ranked at #40 by VH1 on the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock list.
Mother Love Bone
Mother Love Bone was a Seattle-based rock band active from 1988 to 1990. Frontman Andrew Wood's personality and compositions helped to catapult the group to the top of the burgeoning late 1980s/early 1990s Seattle music scene. Tragically, Wood died only days before the release of the band's debut album Apple thus ending the group's hopes of success. Although Mother Love Bone is to this day remembered by many as a very talented band in its own right, its legacy, for some, is overshadowed by Wood's death and the bands that its former members would later form.
I choose Alice in Chains.