Saturday, September 08, 2007

Random Soundgarden Post

I was big into the Seattle Grunge movement of the 1990's. I loved the energy and raw emotion of the music and the apparent genuine nature of the artists. It seemed that the bands that came out at that time were pure and undoctored. They didn't care about their image, which unfortunately became just as big a deal as their sound. Despite the images of long hair, flannel shirts and disheveled hair, the music was about the freshest collection of sounds to come around since the punk movement of the 70's. Each band had a part to play. Nirvana lead the pack with their punk ethos and rock star charisma. Pearl Jam played the role (somewhat reluctantly) of stadium stars. Alice In Chains cornered the market on the spiral of drugs and self destruction. Then there was Soundgarden.

If Nirvana was the Beatles and Pearl Jam the Stones, then Soundgarden was Led Zeppelin. More metal than any other Seattle band, Soundgarden hit you over the head with thick distorted guitars and pounding rhythms and bass lines. There was nothing subtle about this quartet. Chris Cornell even sounded a bit like Robert Plant (with more testosterone). With their two major releases, "Badmotorfinger" and "Superunknown", the band staked their claim to the label of the thinking man's metal band. Where the songs on "Badmotorfinger" were more akin to the early material, with their constant barrage of guitars and screaming vocals, "Superunknown" was more melodic and more song oriented. Both records showcase a band immersed in their own work, not caring about what others where doing or if their music would be accepted by the public. As with all the Seattle bands, Soundgarden seemed almost surprised by their success and after one more album they broke up. Cornell did some solo work and worked with members of the Rage Against the Machine (under the name Audioslave) but has never really sounded as good as he did with his original band. I think it's probably best that they did break up when they did, their place in music history was already secured and they could have only damaged their sterling record.

(mp3) Soundgarden -- Outshined (from Badmotorfinger)
(mp3) Soundgarden -- Rusty Cage (from Badmotorfinger)
(mp3) Soundgarden -- Spoonman (from Superunknown)
(mp3) Soundgarden -- My Wave (from Superunknown)

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