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Mad Season


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April 2, 2013

The short-lived mid-Nineties grunge outfit Mad Season was as much therapy session as jam session: Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready met bassist John Baker Saunders in rehab, and recruited Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley in the hope that teaming with sober musicians might end Staley's heroin addiction. They played desultory, head-clearing heavy blues on their lone album, amended here with a live DVD and tracks from an unfinished second LP with newly recorded vocals from ex-Screaming Tree Mark Lanegan (because Staley never made the original sessions). It's hard hearing Staley growl lines like, "My pain is self-chosen/At least I believe it to be." In a few years, both he and Saunders would be dead.

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