Sunday, May 21, 2017
Classics ? Soundgarden's "Badmotorfinger"
It would almost be pointless for me to review "Louder Than Love " which is my favorite album by these guys so there is no question there. This one however is much more up for debate. When it came out I was a little disappointed as it felt less metal and more rock n roll than "Louder Than Love" So lets dig into this and give it another listen. I could give a fuck that this is the album that helped break them into a wider audience as wider audience doesn't mean quality , but quantity. It opens with a song that is yes decidedly grunge, but has more in common with Pearl Jam than I wanted these guys to have when it came out. It's an up beat rock song that could do without the horn accents. I do like when it breaks down to just bass, drums and vocals. Soundgarden had already raised the bar for themselves past the point of shuffling off into glorified garage rock. There is a more Mudhoney punk recklessness to "Face Pollution". Not sure if this manic direction the album starts off in wins me over any more now than it did then. They slow down to the Black Sabbath swagger and it gives Chris more room to open up an actually sing. I love the line "as I'm raped another monkey circus freak". I think this song has more of the things I want from the band than the first two.
The first song they really slay me with is "Jesus Christ Pose". It finds Cornell's voice soaring up where I want him to be and the drums locked into a tribal mechanization versus the bass and guitar. Its one of those rare perfect songs that a band writes sometimes as happy accident. The bass leads into "Mind Riot" which is a dynamic shift down from the song that preceded it, which found them at 11 so there was no where else to go from there. The guitar riff is more introspective and Cornell delivers with the range of Robert Plant applied to the cerebral fixation of the Doors. I love how the vocals are layered with the call and response. I had almost forgotten about the song "New Damage" until I went back to give this album another listen. It has a darker throb to it. The bridge coming out of the chorus is the song's only weak link. Is this nitpicking? Well these mother fuckers just wrote "Jesus Christ Pose" so I don't think so.
"Outshined" this one of the singles from this album that got beat into the ground. The lyrics are great. At the end of the day this song has stood the test of time so anything else that I might have attached to it doesn't really matter. I think my favorite song on this album might be "Room a Thousand Years Wide" the riff has weight yet glide. You get to hear a very dynamic range from Cornell.The guitar riff to this song is not my favorite though I like the reverse delay on the vocals and I really love when the song breaks down to a more half time. The intro to "Searching For a Friend With My Good Eye Closed" is one of the best ever , making this the 3rd perfect song on this album. It's another one that captures that hypnotic groove that is sonic and heavy, but flows with not effort . "Slaves and Bulldozers" has more of a Sabbath meets Zeppelin groove to it. Chris adds grit to his voice and then soars back up into something with the soul of Ian Gillian. It's one of the albums heavier and more metallic moments.
"Somewhere" is another song I don't really give much thought about until I go give this album another listen. I'll go ahead and give this one a 10, so it is a classic of the decade in which it was conceived, so I will have give "Louder Than Love" another listen and see if it holds up to the pedestal it's on.