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Dirt (Remastered 180 Grams Vinyl) [VINYL]


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Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Alice In Chains: Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell (vocals, guitar); Michael Starr (bass); Sean Kinney (drums).
  • Additional personnel: Tom Araya (background vocals).
  • Recorded in 1992.
  • Dirt is Alice in Chains' major artistic statement and the closest they ever came to recording a flat-out masterpiece. It's a primal, sickening howl from the depths of Layne Staley's heroin addiction, and one of the most harrowing concept albums ever recorded. Not every song on Dirt is explicitly about heroin, but Jerry Cantrell's solo-written contributions (nearly half the album) effectively maintain the thematic coherence -- nearly every song is imbued with the morbidity, self-disgust, and/or resignation of a self-aware yet powerless addict. Cantrell's technically limited but inventive guitar work is by turns explosive, textured, and queasily disorienting, keeping the listener off balance with atonal riffs and off-kilter time signatures. Staley's stark confessional lyrics are similarly effective, and consistently miserable. Sometimes he's just numb and apathetic, totally desensitized to the outside world; sometimes his self-justifications betray a shockingly casual amorality; his moments of self-recognition are permeated by despair and suicidal self-loathing. Even given its subject matter, Dirt is monstrously bleak, closely resembling the cracked, haunted landscape of its cover art. The album holds out little hope for its protagonists (aside from the much-needed survival story of "Rooster," a tribute to Cantrell's Vietnam-vet father), but in the end, it's redeemed by the honesty of its self-revelation and the sharp focus of its music. [Dirt was released on LP in 2010.] ~ Steve Huey
Professional Reviews
Spin (11/92, p.114) - Recommended - "...There's a brutal, though troubling, honesty in the a means of cutting yourself open and letting the listener look inside, Alice In Chains has certainly spit out a mouthful..."

Entertainment Weekly (10/16/92, p.76) - "...The pain and insight that went into these 12 songs make Alice In Chains shine above and beyond most of its Seattle neighbors..." - Rating: A

Q (2/02, p.120) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...DIRT's layered harmonies and fashionable nihilism transformed AIC from sludge metal also-rans to short-lived stars of the post-grunge landscape..."

Alternative Press (3/93, p.40) - "...a big leap forward from 1990's FACELIFT. Where the latter was buried deep under water, DIRT surfs with abandon..."

Vox (12/92, p.63) - 8 - Very Good - "...At their best guitarist Jerry Cantrell's towering riffs and singer Layne Staley's impassioned caterwaul make for a dramatic, vital dose of New Metal..."
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