Commentary

The Ten Best Grunge Bands

A couple of weeks ago, Pearl Jam played the American Airlines Center and rocked the hell out of the place. But after all of these years, can anyone still call Pearl Jam a grunge band? As someone who was in college when the grunge sound came wallowing out of Seattle, I can attest to the greatest of much of the music and the ridiculousness of seeing so many guys wearing flannel. But as guitars get more and more scarce on the Billboard Hot 100, we pine for distortion more and more. In tribute to what may prove one of the last great rock movements, we offer our ten favorite grunge bands.

10. Pearl Jam From the beginning, Eddie Vedder and crew had a very tangential connection to the grunge scene and the grunge sound. Sure, bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard served time in two real grunge bands, Green River and Mother Love Bone, but Vedder's presence was always that of a rock god, a far cry from every other front man. And exactly what albums from Pearl Jam can really be considered grunge? Maybe 1993's Vs. For strictly sentimental reasons, Pearl Jam hits the list at number ten.

9. Mother Love Bone Basically Pearl Jam before Vedder. Sadly, singer Andrew Wood died just months before the band's debut album, Apple, was released. The album featured some good songs, but pointed to the corporate leanings that would define Pearl Jam.

8. Tad Led by the magnificently rotund Tad Doyle, the band Tad was a chaotic, Black Sabbath-inspired mess. Most importantly, these guys defined the grunge aesthetic: they were ugly and they didn't give a shit.