One of the big four of the early 90’s (Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam being the other three), this band, headed by Chris Cornell, (as mentioned in the Temple of the Dog review), came screaming out of Seattle, full of Black Sabbath-esque doom metal ethics and Zeppelin-esque hard rock riffs. They were from Seattle, and it was the Nevermind era, so they were labeled grunge, but the more I listen to supposedly, “grunge” bands, I get confused as to what the word really connotes. Is it an accessible poppy mix of hardcore punk/hard rock practiced during that particular era (i.e. late 1980’s-early 1990’s)? Or does it mean music for angry teens?
Whatever it means, it doesn’t really matter, does it? If you are looking for kick ass hard rock/metal done well, with tons of great riffs, Soundgarden is your band, and Badmotorfinger is your album. Having less diversity then its much more successful follow-up, Superunknown, but kicking a lot of ass, this album is the highlight of the grunge era. The focus and consistency of the band is incredible, as there are almost no throwaways on the entire album which you can truly choose to ignore.
Tons of dissonant feedback, riffs that just have frustration and doom written all over their ugly faces
The first four songs of the album really blow it, in my opinion. We have the great opener (which again was the opening song for the game Road Rash!! Check my Swervedriver review for details!!) called Rusty Cage. There is this great lead line coming in from one speaker, and then another guitar chimes in from the other speaker, and then we just kick off, and it’s great to listen to this song while on a bike!! After that we have Outshined, the most poppy they ever got, and we have Slaves and Bulldozers, almost as slow a song as Sabbath’s cuts, and that’s a great song too, but fuck that and let me come to my favourite track, known as Jesus Christ Pose. Tons of dissonant feedback, riffs that just have frustration and doom written all over their ugly faces, hypnotic riffing, and a great release and change of tempo at the end, where it just feels right. And great lyrics come to think of it.
Motherfuckin heavy record and my favourite Soundgarden album. Even more so than Superunkown, which is next up for review.
All SOUNDGARDEN reviews HERE.
All ALTERNATIVE/GRUNGE/INDIE reviews HERE.
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