Local Wire

Alice In Chains

Throughout its original 15-year run, Alice in Chains regularly alternated electric assaults with acoustic breathers, such as the early-'90s EPs Sap and Jar of Flies. The band's 1996 episode of MTV Unplugged remains haunting — not least because of the visible toll that drug abuse had taken on singer Layne Staley, who died of an overdose in 2002. So it's only natural that the reunited Alice, which now features William DuVall in Staley's place, should offer some acoustic numbers in its current 90-minute sets. Now, as then, stripped-down formats highlight the delicacy of the band's surprisingly supple interplay and the depth of guitarist Jerry Cantrell's songwriting.
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Chris Neal