Soundgarden – King Animal

Soundgarden – King Animal
Universal Republic – B0017683-02
There could not have been a more apropos title to the lead track off Soundgarden’s first studio release in sixteen years. “Been Away Too Long” may at first seem a tad pompous, but one listen to the thirteen songs here and you will be convinced that Soundgarden was a band that was missed. They don’t really break any new ground, nor do they need to as the seething power and core intensity makes the music sound as fresh as it did over two decades ago when the Seattle foursome was at the forefront of the grunge explosion. Chris Cornell’s voice is in excellent form and the band displays the same musical tightness and exuberance evident on early works like “Badmotorfinger” and “Louder Than Love.” It is obvious they have not skipped a beat stylistically, musically, and particularly writing wise. With only a couple songs that even toy with the outer edges of what may be considered “commercial”, the best aspect is that every song here is strongly written and conceived. There is not really what I would call a weak song on this album. As far as heavy rock goes, it rivals most of what is out there these days from newer bands; the “old” dogs can definitely teach the new ones a few tricks here. So if it is true Soundgarden has been away too long, then “King Animal” is a nuclear-fueled statement that they are back and will hopefully be here for a long time. – MW



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