There is nothing more than taking a tour back in time to the decade in which you were born, or indulging in an album released before you even existed. Alice in Chains released their biggest album Dirt in 1992 with “Rooster” being one of the five singles they released along with it. Today we’re taking a tour into 90’s grunge. Dust off your past angst teenage ways: We’re taking on the Seattle scene.
“Rooster” alternates between soft and smooth to rough and loud, with Layne Staley contributing to the delicate touches with his stereotypical grunge vocals. At the opening of the song, it dives into sweet and sincere with dreaminess only Smashing Pumpkins could ever capture, and then the thrashing drums and heavy bass mix it into a passionate song that screams the 90’s.
The title of the song may be odd, but the meaning isn’t. A political aspect only punk rock ever touched, guitarist Jerry Cantrell wrote the song about his father who served in the Vietnam War with the 101 Airborne Division in which the Vietnamese nicknamed them the Roosters. Staley sings “ain’t found a way to kill me yet” showcasing Cantrell’s father’s succession in coming out of the war alive. The lyrics in the song shout an unknown pride and assurance, with repetition of “no we ain’t gonna die.”
The song has glimpses of feeling a little haunted, but it holds together as a quintessential grunge song, with the catchy hook, deep bass and bashing drums that Dave Grohl would be envious of. There was something very patriotic about grunge; revolutionary, independent, and without weakness. Were you a part of Generation X that inspired the leaders of a new music era from the Northwest?
By Sarah Keary
OurVinyl | Contributor