Alice In Chains
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
27 May 2013
by Raziq Rauf
I’ve spent a few days listening to The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here on and off and find myself struggling to say anything about if of any real worth other than, “It’s just not as good as Black Gives Way To Blue.” I mean… what more, as the reader and potential purchaser of the album, do you really need?
Do you need an introduction to Alice In Chains? With a band with as rich a heritage and high a pedigree as Alice In Chains, that really ought not be necessary. You have Wikipedia for that, and you’re clearly on the internet right now. Does the music warrant comparison with Facelift or Dirt? Not so much, because BGWTB did set out its stall as heralding a bold new era in Alice In Chains’ future, whilst celebrating its history. As a result, the only thing The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here can truly be compared to is its predecessor and, as I’ve already pointed out, it’s not as good.
It slips into their catalogue with all the subtle class you’d expect from Alice In Chains, but that’s it. There is no bold new era this time. It’s just the next Alice In Chains album. It’s unspectacular and dependable. DuVall and Cantrell’s vocals combine to dramatic effect in the slow-burning and gloomy opening track, ‘Hollow’ and Cantrell’s wicked, swerving guitar makes ‘Stone’ special, but that’s not really a sign of things to come. While the characteristic sullen melancholy is still there, there’s a sense of mechanical monotony underneath it all, particularly in the slightly dreary title track. The couple of up-tempo tracks, ‘Breath On A Window’ and ‘Phantom Limb’, have none of the unbridled fury of the Staley era but still prevent any feeling of monotony sinking in.
So, there you go. The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here: it’s just not as good as Black Gives Way To Blue.
Sounds like: a perfectly serviceable, 2013 version of Alice In Chains
Top tracks: Hollow, Pretty, Done, Stone