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The Perfect 90s Grunge Ski Playlist

Dear grunge music, we miss you. The tunes being created today are mostly over produced cookie cutter dreck. Everything on the Top 40 sounds the same, that is to say bad, very, very bad. Studio tricks like Auto-Tune and Pro Tools can turn a Justin Bieber wet fart into a hit these days. Clean cut pop or whatever the hell “artists” like Lil Yachty try to pass off as music just ain’t cuttin’ it for cruising. Snowboarders and skiers need some hard driving 90’s rock to crush pow and send it. Like these songs:

1. Jeff Buckley – Eternal Life

There’s a reason Rolling Stone named Grace, Jeff Buckley’s first album, the best debut record of the 1990s—he totally effing rocks, man. Eternal Life invites you in with a coy but building electric guitar before it explodes with head banging goodness. It’s a great tune for the steep and deep days.

2. Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl

Not for the faint of heart, Bikini Kill annihilates eardrums with a style that leans more toward the punk roots of grunge. Rebel Girl’s hard popping drum beat, whiny feedback, and ten-pound sledgehammer guitar riffs create a fist-pumping anthem. Pro’s like Alex Taran, Robin Van Gyn, and Kalen Thorien need to make an edit with this tune.

3. Radiohead – The Bends

Before their experimental albums like Kid A and OK Computer, England’s Radiohead was known as a kick ass garage rock band. A heavily distorted, delicious electric guitar, smashing cymbals, and super clean drums drive The Bends. This tune begs to be played while screaming down groomers while tracing hip dragging arcs.

4. Nirvana – Lithium

Ya just can’t create a shred playlist of grunge songs without Nirvana. Lithium has a mellow, teeter-totter baseline in the body and a crushing sing-along chorus (yeaahyeaaaahh!) perfect for obliterating the bumps. Plus, Dave Grohl is a beast on the drums. RIP Kurt, we miss you.

5. The Breeders – Cannonball

Cannonball lures you in with Kim Deal’s monotone singing and possesses one of the most recognizable bass lines and guitar riffs to come out of the grunge era. The Breeders let loose in the chorus with a healthy serving of choppy, distorted guitar grit. Start off with some soulful windshield wiper turns before you crank up the volume and destroy the corduroy.

6. Pearl Jam – Alive

Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder’s voice helped spawn white guy butt rock bands like the turd that is Nickleback (yuck!), but that doesn’t mean they don’t totally rock. Alive is the song you play when you peak out after a long tour, right before dropping into an untouched face. Slash some powder turns while listening to some of the cleanest drumming from the 90s.

7. Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name

Um, ok, be very careful. From the opening pop of the drums and the ominous bass thump, Killing In The Name is a beast. It’s not so much a song as it is grunge rocket fuel. Has anyone ever been escorted off a ski hill for inciting a mosh pit? Slam bumps, send cliffs, bite a mountain goat, karate chop boulders into pebbles…oh boy.

8. No Doubt – Sunday Morning

This is a classic ska punk, a second cousin to grunge, song from 1995. It’s perfect for bobbin’ and weavin’ in steep trees. Gwen Stefani adds to her typically clean singing with snarly, raspy lines and the band bops a flowy groove. Plus, the most underappreciated drummer of the 90s, Adrian Young, kills the beat.

9. Stone Temple Pilots – Plush

The lyrics of Plush make no sense but that won’t stop you from belting out this tune at the top of your lungs…even if you don’t know the words. Plush will help you cruise low angle blower pow on untracked rollers. It’s a perfect combination of all things grunge, distorted screeching guitar, a big hook, clean drums, and Scott Weiland’s signature voice.

10. Anything by Mariah Carey

Ok, stop freaking out. Yes, Mariah Carey has no place on a list of grunge tunes. But you go ahead and play Always Be My Baby. You’re a soulless bastard if you don’t start smiling when that hip-curling bass mixes with Mariah’s doodah-doop-duum vocals. Play Emotions and try not to dance. Remember, even the most hardcore rocker needs a little step touch-shoulder roll dancing in their life.

About The Author

stash member Paddy O'Connell


When you visit Suonerietelefono, you can find ringtone versions of most of these songs.