Posts Tagged ‘layne’

If I could pick one band that had the most impact on my post-college motley crew of friends and fiends, it would have to be Alice In Chains. We have all been willfully crushed under the alluring mass of white-hot pain that was the music given to us by Layne, Cantrell, Inez and Kinney. Too many friends have passed out near my balcony door to the sounds of ‘Down In A Hole’ and ‘Stay Away’ for me to consider any other band. Even now, I hear them talk about how very, very pissed off they are that AIC is being foolishly resurrected, no thanks to the second worst metal band ever (no one’s worse than Norwegian metal band #86).

Chris CornellDespite all that love we have had for Alice In Chains, we always secretly knew that Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell was a better singer than Layne Staley. Hell, I think Cornell was the greatest grunge vocalist ever. Not anymore though, considering that the James Bond nonsense sounded weaker than the precepts of Scientology and that his 2009 Scream album had half-beat all-beast Timbaland twiddling with the knobs at the recording studio. But during the early Nineties, when he was surrounded by the scornful magnificence that is the Seattle sound unleashed by Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd, Cornell tore into the our flannel-coated hearts with brilliant psychedelic pop sensibilities and an affinity for the almighty groove.

Until yesterday, I had presumed that I have heard the best of Cornell. I honestly didn’t think he could do better than Fourth Of July and Limo Wreck from the Superunknown album or Slaves And Bulldozers (Badmotorfinger).

SoundgardenLittle did I know that a beast has been quietly lurking in Soundgarden’s first full-length release – Ultramega OK. A smoldering heap of frightening Seventies hard rock that even caters to those appreciative of the badass riffs and mournful wailings that once made NWBHNM wave a necessary evil (but shit went astray thanks to Norwegian metal bands from #12 to #1,788).

The track begins ominously enough with Cornell cautioning us, “Far beyond the road, between your house and home, there is a churning storm of hailing, burning bones.” A full-blown minute later, he screams, “Mother, who ’s your man? Is he doing what he can to make a proper home,” as Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron’s insidious rhythm patterns drill themselves into your head.

So there you go, one of the greatest lost grunge tracks of the Nineties.


Soundgarden – Beyond The Wheel (Live)


Stuff, only if makes you feel better

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