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Jar Of Flies
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While not their most definitive album (that honor belongs to 1992's Dirt), Jar of Flies represents an important step in Alice in Chains' recording career. Witness "I Stay Away," which is made up of equal portions of hummable guitar riffs and the spookier, scarier, more grinding elements that most fans associate with Alice in Chains. This song most clearly delineates the dichotomy that was a highlight of the band's sound--Jerry Cantrell's listenable tunes and often gorgeous arrangements (just listen to what he does with "Whale & Wasp"!) and Layne Staley's growling vocals, which are just the teeniest bit flat. The collection as a whole, brief as it is, has an elegance that's unusual for metal. --Genevieve Williams
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1994!-people. God, what a year for music. I was 15 and bought all of these classics of that year like "Jar..." and "Purple" by STP, "Four" by Blues Traveler, "CrazySexyCool" by TLC and many others, especially by groups like Alice In Chains. It was an EP that had an unexpected rocket-ride to #1 on the charts, created hit rock-pop masterpieces like 'No Excuses' and 'I Stay Away,' which had excellent music videos on MTV. (Yep folks Music Television DID play music at one point!)
Jar Of Flies is a complete 'tracker' meaning you can put this on and you will not need to skip a single song. There is melody, variety, brooding hard rock riffing, innovative strings etched in swirling slow rockers, beautifully structured harmonies and vocals by Lane Staley and band, and some of the funkiest and stick-dropping drumming by Sean Kinney.
The licensing and EU company MusicOnVinyl gives us this album in wax or LP form on this reissue. The sound is stunning.MOV is the vanguard and standard bearer of the new "vinyl" (hate that word) reissue groups. No flawed pressings, as is the case with a majority of the new 180g releases. The album is remastered flawlessly, with great attention to the original mix, which is actually better than the CD or digital versions. The Equalisiation is just wonderful. From low frequency bass notes to the highest treble and top end from the guitars and snare pops, the record sounds fresh and hits like Ali.
Add to that the other record that has been included in this package presentation, "SAP," which was not part of the original "Jar Of Flies" issue comes as a one sided disc with a fancy etching and label on one side, and the five tracks laid on the other side. That brings the total number of tunes in the MOV package to 13-which gives us more for our money than had the EP alone been issued. It's a winner. Try to get it for $37 or under as soon as you can-these releases go quickly. A must have for music fans, especially ones that love the 90's rock scene...ONTO "SAP....
These are solid "jams" that are energetic and have purpose and seem genuine works of collaboration. I like the rhythms and riffs from the guitar work It's much in the 'vein' of Jar of Flies with a foot stuck back in their previous album. The records' roster has elements of both sides of Alice- in Chains. These are fully formed songs, although they have the feel of high quality demos. The track with Chris Cornell, Mudhoney and Alice singing together is interesting. Some of the tunes actually are toe tapping. Lyrically, the songs are good, but not a high quality offering.
I received 'SAP' as a companion record to the MusicOnVinyl release of 'Jar Of Flies." The two albums, taken together make for an excellent listen. Sonically, the EQ is tight, with solid lows fro the drums and bass (which are played very skillfully) Jerry's rhythm guitar is captured and centered very well and gets a good boost in the mids of this EQ mix. His treble and lead parts, are sparse, so they can cut through at just the right times. The vocals have great dimension. Staley delivers the goods over an over. Wow, what lead singer! Try and get the MusicOnVinyl version of "Jar O Flies" which is just razor blade edge music delivered in a beautifully understated and extremely brilliant mode. It's the best Alice In Chains work. Enjoy...ZP
Jar of Flies is phenomenal--one of my favorite albums of all time. I couldn't wait to have it on vinyl. The BIG complaint... why the heck did they make the cut from Side A to Side B AFTER Whale & Wasp and before Don't Follow? It would have been much better to end Side A after No Excuses. Then Side B would be Whale & Wasp, Don't Follow, and Swing on This. Oh well.
Sap is a great EP. All the songs fit on Side A, which leaves Side B open for some sweet 1990s laser etched tribal art. Very cool.