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Badmotorfinger

Soundgarden

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Album Review

Bidding for a popular breakthrough with their second major-label album, Soundgarden suddenly developed a sense of craft, with the result that Badmotorfinger became far and away their most fully realized album to that point. Pretty much everything about Badmotorfinger is a step up from its predecessors — the production is sharper and the music more ambitious, while the songwriting takes a quantum leap in focus and consistency. In so doing, the band abolishes the murky meandering that had often plagued them in the past, turning in a lean, muscular set that signaled their arrival in rock's big leagues. Conventional wisdom has it that despite platinum sales, Badmotorfinger got lost amid the blockbuster success of Nevermind and Ten (all were released around the same time). But the fact is that, though they're all great records, Badmotorfinger is much less accessible by comparison. Not that it isn't melodic, but it also sounds twisted and gnarled, full of dissonant riffing, impossible time signatures, howling textural solos, and weird, droning tonalities. It's surprisingly cerebral and arty music for a band courting mainstream metal audiences, but it attacks with scientific precision. Part of that is due to the presence of new bassist Ben Shepherd, who gives the band its thickest rhythmic foundation yet — and, moreover, immediately shoulders the departed Hiro Yamamoto's share of songwriting duties. But it's apparent that the whole band has greatly expanded the scope of its ambitions. And Badmotorfinger fulfills them, pulling all the different threads of the band's sound together into a mature, confident, well-written record. This is heavy, challenging hard rock full of intellectual sensibility and complex band interplay. And with their next album, Soundgarden would learn how to make it fully accessible to mainstream audiences as well.

Customer Reviews

Incredible album

Buy this, this is in no way a disappointment. Chris Cornell is better here than in Audioslave. Great album, if you like Soundgarden listen to this and get this. It rocks! Besides how can you not buy a CD with a track called "Jesus Christ Pose"?

The only Soungarden album you need!

To correct "outshined", "Rusty Cage" is actually a Soundgarden song covered by Johnny Cash (sorry, check your facts dude!). Other than that, all I can say is that this album has been a staple in my "Heavy" category since the year it was released. From start to finish, this album shreds! Lyrically, musically, vocally, and any other way you like...Chris Cornell and friends were at the top of their game when they made this one. Highlights include "Rooms a Thousand Years Wide", "Drawing Flies", and the aforementioned "Rusty Cage", a song that Chris Cornell wrote, Soundgarden performed, and then was perfected by the Man in Black.

Audioslave...who?

Sorry Chris,i bought all the Audioslave albums only because i was yearning for more of this! Why,why did Soundgarden disband? You guys left me hanging after seeing you LIVE in Vancouver,just prior to break-up. I'm left "searching with my good ears closed"...SWEET!

Biography

Formed: 1984 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '10s

Soundgarden made a place for heavy metal in alternative rock. Their fellow Seattle rockers Green River may have spearheaded the grunge sound, but they relied on noise rock in the vein of the Stooges. Similarly, Jane's Addiction were too fascinated with prog rock and performance art to appeal to a wide array of metal fans. Soundgarden, however, developed directly out of the grandiose blues-rock of Led Zeppelin and the sludgy, slow riffs of Black Sabbath. Which isn't to say they were a straight-ahead...
Full bio