Many who didn’t partake in the 90s “grunge” era probably have never heard of Mad Season. But there’s good chance you’ve heard of the bands Mad Season came from.
Vocalist Layne Staley, who died in 2002, came from Alice in Chains. Guitarist Mike McCready is one of the geniuses behind Pearl Jam. Drummer Barrett Martin and guest-vocalist Mark Lanegan came from Screaming Trees.
Together, this Seattle “super group” released one album, “Above,” in 1995, and the album went gold that same year. Unfortunately, drug problems with Staley and Mad Season’s bassist kept them from ever trying for a sophomore release. It’s a shame.
Mad Season had just the right blend of AIC’s somber lyrics and Pearl Jam’s strings (if you hear “Inside Job” on Pearl Jam’s latest CD, you’ll catch the similarity) … combined, it had a Queens of the Stone Age feel (well before QOTSA ever existed).
“Above” reminds me of college, of course, so it’ll always have a place in my heart. (awww). Since they had just one album, I won’t go into my Top 10 list, but I will provide a few links … The first song, “Long Gone Day,” is one of their lighter ones, almost jazzy in a way, but it shows off Staley’s vocals. The others have a little more edge to them.
• River of Deceit: One of the few songs that was actually a “hit” on the radio. Lyrics are typical Staley, except with a twist of positive at the end.
• I don’t now anything: Catchy, very grunge.
• Lifeless Dead: This one show’s off McCready’s talents. Love this song.