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Louder Than Love

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Album Review

Signing to a major label, Soundgarden take a step toward the metal mainstream with Louder Than Love, a slow, grinding, detuned mountain of Sabbath/Zeppelin riffs and Chris Cornell wailing. The production is quite murky, as the rest of the band tries to poke its way through Kim Thayil's guitar squall. There are some essential Soundgarden items mixed in, among them the haunting "Hands All Over," the punky "Full on Kevin's Mom," and the stereotypically macho metal stupidity of "Big Dumb Sex," whose ironic intent is often misconstrued. It's certainly worthwhile to sift through Louder Than Love, but don't expect consistency.


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...
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