Why Alice In Chains’ New Album Rainier Fog Has Boring Songs

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Joe Hughes posted a written review for Alternative Nation of Alice In Chains’ new album Rainier Fog last week, and now Lauryn Schaffner has posted a video review for Alternative Nation. In the review, Lauryn is critical of several songs on the album, criticizing how William DuVall’s voice is drowned out by the mix and music and boring song structures, though she does praise standout tracks.

When discussing “Drone” she criticized the length of certain songs.

“I once again think that this song drags on for way too long. I think if you are going to tackle a six and a half minute or seven minute song it has to be done in a way like Guns N’ Roses ‘Civil War’ where there is a lot of variation throughout the song, and it sounds different in different parts. It goes from heavy to light, because if the song just keeps repeating the same verse chorus or entire thing for 7 minutes, it starts to get very boring.

Unfortunately, I think that is a recurring theme on this album. The songs are just dragged out. If they were maybe a minute, or 45 seconds shorter, I think that a lot of them would be better than they are, just because it would be easier to stay focused on them.”

She had the same criticism of “Deaf Ears Blind Eyes.”

“Once again, we get a pretty monotonous vocal delivery, until you get to the end of the chorus where he starts to pick up his range a bit. Honestly, I hate to sound like a broken record, but for a lot of these songs, there is not a whole lot to say because they all kind of follow that dragged out, drowned out, boring sounding theme.”

Lauryn did praise “The One You Know,” “So Far Under,” “Never Fade,” and “All I Am.” She said that “So Far Under” recaptured the magic of heavy Alice In Chains.

“I think that the beginning couple of songs and the ending couple of songs are the strong points, whereas the middle is kind of just blah. You kind of want to keep everybody engaged, if they get bored in the middle, they might not listen until the end. I think that the heavier and angrier songs were in the beginning, while the nostalgic and more emotional songs are at the end.”

  • Cunt Fuckula

    Alice In Chains has been releasing successful albums for close to 30 years now. I wonder when Lauryn Schaffer’s groundbreaking album of enduring hard rock is coming out?

    Hilarious how she praises “Never Fade” when that’s easily the most generic AIC song written to date.

    • Corndog

      Yes because all food critics are chefs and all movie critics are directors….

      • Katie

        lol :::hugs:::

        • Corndog

          Hi Katie. Hope you’re well:)

          • Katie

            I’m doing well and working hard… as usual. Hope all is well in Eire. <3

    • Maria da Penha e João da Lapa

      So good this The Breeders pic

      Yes, “never fade” is simple.
      But i think there are boring songs too.
      Everyone knows it but it can change one to another.

    • PhoenixForce5

      Every AIC album has that unAIC song in it. For this one its Never Fade. Its hardly their worst song. And even their worst song is nowhere near other band’s worst song.

    • Dysnomia

      Your opinion there at the end while criticizing someone else’s opinion. Good job there.

      • Cunt Fuckula

        The difference being I’m not on here positing myself as a “music journalist” calling AIC boring and then proclaiming that Gobsmack and Shinedown — two of the most egregious AIC ripoff bands in history — are “the greatest summer tour you’ll see this year”.

        • Dysnomia

          Music journalists have opinions too. Reviews are literally that- opinions.

          • Cunt Fuckula

            But who cares about her opinion? What credentials does she have? Where is her sprawling body of work that towers above the legacy of AIC that gives her opinion any credence?

            She’s not a journalist. She’s a critic. And a critic is the most pointlessly stupid “job” on the face of this earth.

        • Katie

          YES!!! PREACH!!! 😀

    • Morgan M.

      “Never Fade” is without a doubt the most un-Alice song to date. First time I heard it I literally cringed.

  • Carlos Plaza

    Rainier Fog is the worst AIC album to date. My personal opinion!!

    • Maria da Penha e João da Lapa

      I’m near to you.
      I think Alice In Chains (1995) the worst … then Rainier Fog in line..
      But even the “worst” is AIC …. and i love this band.

      “Worst” level in AIC is razonable.

      Pearl Jam albums are tragic to me after 2000.
      My opinion.

      • IrregularJohn

        You can see this with every music artist – they get old, they don’t have that same angst, that hungry for new audiences approach. They become millionaires, the issues they sang about in their youth are no longer relevant in their particular lives. It seems like most bands have 3-4 (maybe 5) great records in them until they become a mockery of their former selves.

        • Dysnomia

          Or they became millionaires and do t care what anyone else thinks and are given the opportunity to play whatever they want.

          Works either way friend.

          • Katie

            Yeppers.

      • Morgan M.

        The Tripod album had Over Now, Heaven Beside You, Grind, Frogs, God Am….I would hardly call it a “bad” album. Pearl Jam’s Ten is probably one of the greatest albums ever…..after that album is different story.

    • Dysnomia

      Better than The Devil… but I agree it is too…. drone like. Let DuVall do some lead vocals. Jerry holds out every note way too long. Needs variety. But in general I much prefer Rainier Fog to the last one, which was just too overproduced and had way too many vocal tracks all the time.

      Black Gives Way to Blue was a great album, best of the post Layne stuff, both with individual tracks and altogether. I do like the new sound, just too droney with the vocals. Love the music though, very soundscape-ish.

    • Katie

      And… you’re allowed to have your opinion. That is the beauty of it.

  • Maria da Penha e João da Lapa

    She is so beautiful. I’m in love with her.

    01 – The One You Know
    02 – Rainier Fog ♥
    03 – Red Giant ♥
    04 – Fly
    05 – Drone >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Boring
    06 – Deaf Ears Blind Eyes >>>>>>>>>Boring
    07 – Maybe
    08 – So Far Under ♥
    09 – Never Fade ♥
    10 – All I Am >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Boring

    It’s a good album but not the best. Only this.
    I’m listening it each every day. It’s better than other bands nowdays, isn’t it?

    • PhoenixForce5

      You know what they say about opinions? They’re just yours. I isn’t true for the rest of us.

    • Hot Topic

      Boring is when you can’t appreciate good music and when stupid little kids want man in the box and rooster all over again, even though it’s been 30 years.
      I bet Elliott Smith is boring for you too, even though he the Genius#1 in music.

      • Katie

        :::Applauding:::

    • Katie

      Ok, good, then please, can you go visit her house, and stomp her PC with the webcam?
      I’d greatly appreciate it – – Thankees!

  • PhoenixForce5

    The self titled album had a ton more boring songs. In fact the only songs I cared for on that album were Grind, Heaven Beside You, Again and Over Now – even after repeated listens. The only song I didn’t care for in this album was Maybe. I happen to really like Drone. Its got a trippy bluesy riff. Slightly more polished piece than the bluesy stuff from Facelift. I’d def put this one alongside Dirt and Facelift. But I can’t make the same comparisons with Dirt and Rainier Fog. If Dirt was more angst-ridden and angry, Rainier Fog is much more introspective with a matured broodiness to it.

    • Hot Topic

      Head Creeps, Shame in you, Brush away, God am, Sludge factory, frogs…
      yeah their best songs.
      God am is just one of their best songs ever, Head Creeps has one of the best riffs by far, you just have to listen to it, or even better – learn to play it on a guitar, then you will understand. I mean the pre-chorus and chorus riffs of course. This shit is the coolest thing Jerry ever did.
      None of the new album’s songs are boring, except So Far Under, but it’s not AiC – it’s Duvall in Chains.

      • PhoenixForce5

        Honestly, I didn’t care for Head Creeps, Shame in you, Brush away, God am, Sludge factory, frogs. I also didn’t like how Layne’s vocals were so overdubbed in those songs too.

  • Mikey 🐮💩🐙🐧🐒🐸🐰

    Why This Site has Idiotic Clickbait Headlines Despite Having Good Content

  • Seattlesound21

    I just think it depends person to person my least favourite album from them was TDPDH but many others liked it alot

    • Morgan M.

      Yeah I would agree. I thought Voices was f-ing awesome.

      • Katie

        Voices was and is… sheer brilliance. The intro and the outro still give me chill bumps…

        • Tom

          Katie….did we just become best friends?! That song caught me as soon as I heard the 10-15 second clip on that video-mockumentary-thing they put out.

          • Katie

            Oh yeah Tom… if AIC23 made you laugh so hard that you almost pissed your knickers, and if that oh-so-brief acoustic introduction that was both playing in Alan Poole McLard’s car and on Donnie *Skeeter* Dollarhide’s boom box grabbed your attention like a dog does when he see’s a squirrel then yes honey we’re best friends… lol!
            BOTH the Haunting, Ethereal, Other-Worldy electric guitar chime notes that lead into that song, then the acoustic genius begins, and then as the song is fading out they repeat that beautiful progression of the same chime notes from the beginning… *Voices* STILL give me chill bumps 5 years later… my absolute favorite song off of TDPTH. Truly…
            “That kid followed me around all summer…”
            “I’mmmmm the man in Hock – I haaadddd to sell my SHIT…”
            :::Phantom Limb Play playing:::
            “Come on man… Get Down DUDE!!!”
            “I don’t know how the fuck you got my number dude… but I’d sure appreciate it if you’d stop callin’. Thank you.”
            RANDY!!! Take out the trash!!!
            Sorry, had to indulge my smile. 🙂 When I’m having a total shit day at work I plug in my earbuds and watch AIC23 during lunch. I’ve actually gotten in trouble for laughing out loud.
            I have always loved the fact that Jer & the guys are never afraid to act totally goofy, and poke fun at themselves. They are wonderful humans.
            Peace

    • Katie

      I love a sensible voice of reason. Thank you. 🙂

  • Hot Topic

    She’s just one of those kids that expect AiC to do all the same things all over again.
    That’s why stuff like “So Far Under,” and “Last of my kind” are the WORST songs on the albums, the lyrics are cringy, cuz it’s Duvall.
    The rest of the stuff is purely amazing, if it’s boring for you – well, time to grow up. AiC don’t write music for kids anymore, they are 55+ grandpas by now.

  • lima85

    She’s a bollock.

  • Raj

    I disagree Lauryn the whole album is only 10 songs so cutting shaving each song by 1:45 probably isn’t going to to change your opinion about repetitiveness and songs going on for too long. They’ve gone back to an old sound some songs could be off Tripod or Jar of Flies is the vibe I get. Lengthy songs are bit of an AIC trademark look at Frogs or Sludge Factory. Again I feel the middle is the strength of the album and the beginning and ending are the blah you describe.

  • Raj

    The One You Know – chunky riff kinda has a Dirt like vibe the bridge is killer in this song my favourite part of the song
    Rainier Fog – sounds like something off BGWTB catchy mostly William shining hs stuff here the quiet part in the middle reminds of Jar of Flies
    Red Giant – classic dual harmonization intro with a descending guitar line BGWTB song here
    Fly – kind of your classic AIC ballad Jar of Flies track here some interesting guitar work pre-solo
    Drone – kind of in between a song from BGTWB and TDPDH
    Deaf Ears and Blind Eyes – an iconic new Alice in Chains riff never been heard though different I got a What the Hell Have I vibe instantly
    Maybe – blown away sounds like a country chorus/folksy/bluesy/barbershop quartet feel to it
    So Far Under – reminds of a looking in view from BGWTB but with a stronger chorus some of William’s’ best delivery and writing
    Never Fade – more uptempo still but a very Layne’s spirit really captured easily on the verses which are phenomenal by William I think the chorus by Jerry brings it down lol
    All I Am – a long AIC ballad mostly Jerry nothing really earth shattering here.

  • Katie

    Who IS this twit who was either in diapers when Alice In Chains was in their early Zenith, or perhaps wasn’t even ALIVE in the early 1990’s… and WHY is her *Opinion* relevant to anything Alice In Chains???!!! :::Sweet Jesus:::

    Way to Stir the Cauldron Brett – brilliant business move honey… Bet this thread blows up. 🙂

  • Katie

    For what it’s worth – *Rainier Fog* is a masterpiece. The music is fucking amazing, I feel that the vocals are a tad bit over-produced (but Nick R. does that), but it certainly does not detract from the album’s overall musical quality. This record is really… REALLY good.

    *Drone* could have easily appeared on Degradation Trip Vols. 1&2, Mike’s bass work is fucking insane… so good that he would fill Robert Trujillo’s shoes for that album (hint, hint guys… an idea for concert set lists…)

    *All I Am* sounds like Alice In Chains got engaged to The Beatles, but Alice got weak right before the wedding and had a brief fling with Type O Negative – – and 9 months later *All I Am* was born and now nobody can figure out who the baby’s daddy is…

    Just my *Opinion* folks… 🙂

    Peace

  • lima85

    Still a bollock.