New Books! (August)


Featuring: Matthew de Abaitua, Stephen Aryan, Bradley Beaulieu, Ben Bova, Lila Bowen, Zen Cho, Robert DeFranco, Seth Dickinson, Tom Doyle, Peter Facinelli, Charlie Fletcher, Vince Flynn, Ryan Gattis, Derek Haas, Sam Hawken, Andrew Michael Hurley, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rajan Khanna, Andrew Klavan, Julia Knight, Mike Lawson, Alison Littlewood, Barry Lyga, Ian McDonald, Kyle Mills, Seth Patrick, T.R. Richmond, Adam Roberts, Lilith Saintcrow, Kieran Shea, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, David de Sola, Gav Thorpe, Ben Tripp, Anna Waterhouse, Andy Weir, Ian Winwood, Max Wirestone Continue reading

Review: ALICE IN CHAINS by David de Sola (Thomas Dunne)

DeSolaD-AliceInChainsUntoldStoryThe tragic tale of one of America’s most influential bands of the 1990s

Alice in Chains were one of the loudest voices out of Seattle, iconic pioneers who mixed grunge and metal in ways that continue to influence today’s artists. Theirs is a story of hard work, self-destruction, rising from the ashes and carrying on a lasting legacy.

Four years after their first meeting at a warehouse under Seattle’s Ballard Bridge, Alice in Chains became the first of grunge’s big four — ahead of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden — to get a gold record and achieve national recognition. With the charismatic Layne Staley behind the microphone, they became one of the most influential and successful bands to come out of the Seattle music scene. But as the band got bigger, so did its problems. 

I am a big grunge fan. Ever since I took notice of music, and especially the guitar-driven genres, I have listened to Alice in Chains. Given my relative youth, though, I only discovered them shortly before Nothing Safe: Best of the Box came out (I picked it up in LA during my first visit to the city). This, naturally, led me to delve into their back catalogue of albums, and I quickly became hooked on Dirt and Facelift. Then, only a handful of years later, Layne Staley’s death was reported in the various music magazines I religiously read at the time. It is quite strange, as de Sola mentions in this book, that no proper biography of the band has been written until now. I’m happy to say, though, that de Sola’s book is a great tribute to Alice in Chains, and a must-read for any fan of their music and the scene they helped create and nurture. Continue reading