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Alice In Chains

The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here


Jerry Cantrell – Lead Guitar, Backing and Lead Vocals

Sean Kinney – Drums, Percussion, Piano

Mike Inez – Bass

William DuVall – Lead and Backing Vocals, Rhythm Guitar


            Awe, the grunge era. A time where messed up lyrics and simple riffs laid king to the hard heavy glam of the ‘80s. Coming from the grunge hub, Seattle, Washington, Alice in Chains really blended the two to form a sound all their own. They formed in 1987, but the roots started before that. The original Alice in Chains (under different names as well) had several line-ups changes before disbanding. While the band was still alive though, Layne Staley (frontman) meet Jerry Cantrell while working at Music Bank rehearsal studios. The guys each had different bands that the other joined to help out. After Staley’s band called it quits, their full attention was placed on Cantrell’s outfit which they finally settled on calling Alice in Chains. The band signed to Columbia Records in 1989 and went straight to the top of the priority list. After an EP the band released their debut album Facelift. 1992 seen their second EP Sap which included guest vocals, but the main attraction of ‘92 was their second album Dirt. In 1993 a line-up change occurred then the band headed out for an extensive world tour. In 1995 the band released its self-titled album which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. After the album Staley rarely left his Seattle Condo and the band went on hiatus. In 1998 he surfaced long enough for two new tracks, but not much more. In 2002, Staley pass away after a decade of battling drug addiction. Cantrell dedicated his 2002 solo album to his memory. The band reunited for some shows and eventually stated that a new frontman was at the helm of the band. With DuVall on the mic the band hit the studios and surfaced with Black Gives Way to Blue in 2009. In 2011 the band headed back into the studio for their fifth album. The devil Put Dinosaurs Here was released in late May 2013. The album features 12 tracks and spreads 67 minutes. They get the album going with “Hollow” which turns out to be a great tune. It is a low key tune with rolling vocals and music. The vocals whine out the lyrics while the music just floats along. The track lacks intensity and energy, but makes up for it with a great guitar solo, steady play, and vocals that you can’t get out of your head. Its one of those tracks that you can’t ignore even if you want to. “Pretty Done” continues on the path of the first tune in terms of sound. The vocals are the same whiney sound while the music maintains the lackadaisical format as well. The lyrics are okay, but they don’t seem to be as attractive as the opening tune. “Stone” is a little more upbeat than the other tunes before it, but it’s still pretty laid back. The riff that the music is base around is great and really sparks your interest. They also put into backing vocals and the drums get into the act as they step up towards the end. This is one of my favorite AIC tunes. “Voices” is a descent track, but I don’t see it being with the elite ones. The gang vocals are good and the music sweeps across your ears, but the vibe of the track didn’t get me excited as the others. The titled cut, “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here,” steps up next on the record. The six plus minute track begins with an intriguing intro before, not one, but two vocals some sweeping in. The music is descent as are the vocals, but I really wasn’t wowed by the track. The lyrics are okay once you dive into them, but sometimes even outstanding lyrics can get you excited about a tune. “Lab Monkey” offers up the same vocal voice, however they added some depth to them this time. The sweeping music is okay, but it did get a bit boring this time around. “Low Ceiling” spices up the record some with more energy. The vocals are more upfront in this offering and they don’t whine as much. The music also turns up the volume and sounds stronger. It marches a lot better than the other. The guitar solo is stunning and will have you closing your eyes while you listen to it. “Breath On A Window” goes back to the whiney vocals, although, they aren’t as bad as some of the tracks. The guitars also put up this whiney sound as well, but the end of the solo section spices the notes up some. The track is okay and is something you can put on and do stuff around the house or yard to, but I don’t see it being a huge number. “Scalpel” is not a bad track to listen to. There is some stuff going on that is new and it changes the pace up a bit. The vocals are clearer while the music is more upbeat. It’s still not a slashing pace, but its something different. This is something that I could listen to often. I like the vibe as well as the lyrics. It’s easy to get into. “Phantom Limb” is a huge 7 minute track that seems to go on forever. There are places where I was starting to get into the track, but other places I kind of zoned out. “Hung On A Hook” is another whiney sounding track, but like the opener, it has a way of hooking you. I really couldn’t get past the track; I just wanted to hear more. The vocals are whiney once again, but they do it so well. They march right along with the tunes. “Choke” wraps up the album with a nice sounding tune. The variety of the tunes is solid and it really gets you excited. The track leaves you wanting more as it should. It’s on the top tier of this album. Overall the album is solid. There are a lot of tracks on it that you can really get into and I think huge fans will hang on every note. As a casual fan though, I think there are some tracks you can skip. They get a bit repetitive and can get on your nerves a tiny bit. The vocals do begin to change styles, tempo, and the amount of power behind them towards the end and it does help to hold your attention a while longer. The music follows suit in that aspect. I believe it is an album that you can put in and do work around the house to and there are a few that should end up on some iPods.  


Rating: 7 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Hollow, Stone, Choke


Track List:

  1. Hollow
  2. Pretty Done
  3. Stone
  4. Voices
  5. The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
  6. Lab Monkey
  7. Low Ceiling
  8. Breath On A Window
  9. Scalpel
  10. Phantom Limb
  11. Hung On A Hook
  12. Choke

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