1. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven vs. Led Zeppelin - Houses Of The Holy
This was a tough one. I dislike "D'yer Maker," but the high points of Houses more than make up for it - "The Song Remains the Same," "No Quarter," and "The Ocean" are all Zepp at the top of your game. Lift Yr. Skinny Fists is epic in its own way, but too long to entirely hold my interest through all four movements.
2. Dr. Octagon - Dr. Octagonecologyst vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
Californication has better individual tracks than Dr. Octagonecologyst - the title track, "Scar Tissue," "Other Side," "Parallel Universe." But it also has "Purple Stain," which might be the worst song RHCP ever recorded. Dr. Octagonecologyst is more solid all the way through, and has the added bonus of having one of the few rap skits to ever make me laugh out loud ("Oh, shit, there's a horse in the hospital!").
3. The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go vs. Urge Overkill - Saturation
Where Did Our Love Go is an excellent example of superbly crafted pop, and I can acknowledge it is better constructed than Saturation, which can be uneven. However, I have such good memories attached to Saturation that I can't help but enjoy it more (I happened to nominate this one). I listened to the album nonstop while driving from the east coast to the west coast of the United States one summer, camping and backpacking along the way, so now whenever I hear it I think of freedom, the open road, and the endless possibilities of road tripping.
I'll try and vote on Bracket 4 if I have the time...