Collecting Green River's second and third releases, plus three rare tracks, Dry As a Bone/Rehab Doll is a near-definitive look at the Seattle band that, along with the Melvins and Soundgarden, virtually invented grunge. Out of all the bands that branched out from the Green River family tree, the originals sound most like Mudhoney upon first listen. That's due both to their punky aggression and the fact that Mark Arm's signature sneer is firmly in place. However, the differences reveal themselves rather quickly. Where Mudhoney was sort of the Ramones of grunge -- their best material consisting of simple, catchy, highly similar garage rockers -- Green River's instrumental attack was much more intricate and complex. That's because it was anchored by the inseparable team of guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament, whose work here mixes the swagger of '70s hard rock (particularly Aerosmith) and the ferocity of hardcore punk. Melody and hooks aren't exactly Green River's strong point; their music gets over on straight-from-the-gutter attitude, kicking up a filthy, distorted racket punctuated by Arm's nauseous moan. Since Dry As a Bone/Rehab Doll is more energetic and less murky than many proto-grunge artifacts, it's arguably the most effective and enduring building block in the music's early evolution.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey