Temple of the Dog is one more of those forgotten alt rock acts from the 90’s consisting of people who became famous subsequently for their works as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Err…that is right, the lineup is all of Pearl Jam (Gossard, Ament, McCready, Vedder) and some of Soundgarden (Cornell, Cameron). Therefore, in hindsight, it’s got some of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. We have the classic rockiness of Pearl Jam, which they used to full effect later on, on Ten, reviewed elsewhere on this site, and they have the grunge ethics and lead guitar pyrotechnics and ugliness of Soundgarden. Then again we have Cornell and Vedder, both of ‘em on vocals, so yes, this is one helluva supergroup, though nobody guessed at that time. This is their only album btw, cause then they all went off to be more famous and radio friendly. Well, ok, Pearl Jam did. Cornell remained a dirty motherfucker writing such ass kickin ugly SOB songs as Jesus Christ Pose and Searching With My Good Eye Closed, while Pearl Jam went off writing classic rock stuff like Jeremy and Black.
The reason you should listen to this record, though is because of the song, Reach Down. It starts of with this crushing, heavy guitar line that absolutely kicks all kinds of ass, and then the drums kick in, slowly and then it builds up with Cornell doing great duty on the vocals, and then they jam and jam for almost 10 more glorious minutes. That’s right. Do yourself a favour and listen to this song. Pearl Jam and Soundgarden never did anything this good, I promise you.
The rest of the album kinda gets dwarfed by the aforementioned song, but it all sounds good. You have ballads like Hunger Strike (Vedder is on vocals and sounds absolutely stunning) and rockers like Pushin’ Forward Back and the rest. But do listen to Reach Down. That is the reason this album gets a thumbs up from me. That jam is almost mesmerizing. What solos!! What a performance!! What a feel!! Grunge should have been more like this, rather than being an inferior imitation of Nirvana’s Nevermind.
I am sorry, but I am just not all that great with reviews, so can’t really write more. In any case, I don’t want to. Isn’t it good enough if I tell you that this is record is good and you should listen to it? Fuck off.