Like "We Die Young" did for Facelift, "Them Bones" let Alice in Chains start an album, Dirt, with a brief, tightly wound explosion of sheer, inescapable riff power, focused and relentless. Anyone doubting that the band was the real deal, for all its bemusing demi-glam roots, hadn't really heard how Jerry Cantrell's riff completely ripped out of the speakers, while Layne Staley's anguished, wordless call repeated in time with it. Even more impressive was how the lead melody slowly rose rather than descended, but thanks to its brute power and Staley's unique, strangled drawl, it still sounded like a death march. A similar contrast played out when Staley sang the chorus over what was arguably the only conventionally pretty music in the song (though admittedly that's really only a matter of degrees). The Mike Starr/Sean Kinney rhythm wasn't slouching either, and having made its point in two and a half minutes it stops -- not a note is wasted.