Rolling Stone - 11/30/95, p.634 Stars (out of 10)
- "...On the band's fourth album, the lyrics deal with drugs, danger and death--and the songs achieve a startling, staggering and palpable impact..."
Q - 1/96, p.173 Stars (out of 5)
- "...another distinctive album...grinding guitars rub up against dense, late-'60s style vocal harmonies..."
Musician - 2/96, p.91
"...Alice In Chain's sullen music is like stomach acid climbing up your throat. But once 'Grind' satisfies your senses in its queasy way, another listen feels all but inevitable..."
Alice In Chains: Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell (vocals, guitar); Mike Inez (bass); Sean Kinney (drums).
Recorded at Bad Animals, Seattle, Washington.
"Grind" was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.
"Again" was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Personnel: Jerry Cantrell, Layne Staley (vocals, guitar); Mike Inez (bass guitar); Sean Kinney (drums).
Audio Mixer: Toby Wright.
Recording information: Bad Animals, Seattle, WA.
Photographer: Rocky Schenck.
Much like the overcast and murky weather that Seattle is known for, Alice In Chains' music is dour, plumbing the darker side of life that's cluttered with dashed hopes and inner turmoil. The group's self-titled third album continues along this path, peppered by Layne Staley's nihilistic lyrics and guitarist Jerry Cantrell's weighty playing. The three-legged dog on the cover guarantees that no warm and fuzzy feelings will get aroused.
When Staley states "How proud are you being able/To gather faith from fable?" on "God Am," he reflects the feelings of the displaced generation AIC sing to. Elsewhere, imagery of drug addiction floats through "Sludge Factory," as Cantrell's plodding riffs and the sound of a disjointed conversation paint an aural picture of nodding out. The darkened hues coloring the sound of ALICE IN CHAINS make it a perfect rainy-day record.