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Hallowed Ground

Skin Yard

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Album Review

Grunge is often thought of as being closely aligned with punk — after all, the movement did effectively strip rock free of gloss and pretentiousness — several Seattle bands must have also had a few prog releases in their LP collections. This claim could definitely be said about Soundgarden (who never turned down a wacky time signature offer), as well as Skin Yard. Although lesser known than early-'90s grunge chart toppers, Skin Yard was an important act — led by renowned producer Jack Endino, the group issued a handful of underrated releases during a seven-year career, including their 1988 sophomore full-length, Hallowed Ground. But don't be misled, although there are indeed some tricky bits included here, it's not music that has been slaved over in the studio and dissected — the members' punk backgrounds are certainly reflected in the live-in-the-room production. Standouts include the album-opening "Stranger" (which musically, is comparable to early Shudder to Think), "Open Fist" (with melodic vocals that bring to mind Bob Mould), and the groove-y title track.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Possibly the least appreciated of Seattle's early grunge pioneers, Skin Yard never broke out of the deeper levels of the underground. Unlike most of their peers, they never made it onto the Sub Pop roster, nor did their key personnel go on to breakout stardom with other bands. They did, however, contribute drummers to acts like Soundgarden and the Presidents of the United States of America, and guitarist Jack Endino became the local scene's pre-eminent producer and engineer, helming records for nearly...
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Hallowed Ground, Skin Yard
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