Opening the lid on Jar of Flies

Alice in Chains Jar of Flies

Weighing in at only 30 m 52 s, this cup of instrumental genius is filled to the brim with…no, not with flies…but with dark and melodic nuances, and Staley’s unique voice.  The lyrics at times are melancholy but never lack the authenticity with which you will always find in this band.  “We chase misprinted lies…we face the path of time…”  “if I can’t be my own, I’d be better dead.”  A haunting sentiment from a singer who battled with addiction until it overtook him–into a different beyond.

As usual, Cantrell’s pointed and clean guitar playing and harmonic background vocals give this four-piece set a mellow and haunting feel.  It’s not a minor thing, though…when the band explodes into this uplifting, hopeful chords, it can bring tears to a listener’s eyes.  After two solemn openers, we are greeted with a lilting, uplifting howl from Staley that emits hope from the deep recesses of depression in which we have retreated to to be with this album.

My particular favorites from this album are “Whale & Wasp” and “No Excuses.”  “Whale…” is an instrumental piece with strings that might make you feel like Vivaldi married an acoustic electric guitar.  “No Excuses” is a power-packed, snare drum heavy celebration of music.

All in all, Jar of Flies is a must-have for those of us, especially those, who are authentic Alternative rock fans.  Open the lid.

Be well and rock on,

Rachael

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