25 Years Ago: Alice in Chains Show Their Quiet Side on the ‘Sap’ EP
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Alice in Chains‘ debut, 1990’s Facelift, established them as being one of the more metallic bands of the nascent Seattle scene. But they toned things down a bit with their next project, an EP of acoustic-flavored songs called Sap that was released on Feb. 4, 1992.
That’s not to say that its five songs were less moody than its predecessor; if anything the quieter nature amplified the gloominess. Still, the opening one-two punch of “Brother” and “Got Me Wrong” had heavy drums and searing electric guitar work from Jerry Cantrell, it’s just that the rhythm guitar parts were played on acoustics. But the next two, “Right Turn” and “Am I Inside,” are sparse and moving. The closing hidden track, “Love Song,” was less of an actual song than a bizarre, instrument-trading blow-off — Layne Staley played drums while Sean Kinney banged on a piano — in the studio.
Despite its brevity, there are still plenty of vocal cameos by their local friends. Ann Wilson of Heart duets with Staley on “Brother” and “Am I Inside” and Soundgarden‘s Chris Cornell adds his trademark wail to the end of “Right Turn” — which also features Mark Arm of Mudhoney, with both of them credited as “Alice Mudgarden” — and “Love Song.”
A few years after Sap came out, “Got Me Wrong,” became a hit on the Mainstream and Modern Rock charts when it was featured in the movie Clerks, prompting a re-release by Columbia in early 1995. A year later, they returned to “Brother” and “Got Me Wrong” when they included it on their Unplugged album.
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