Soundgarden: Telephantism (Universal)

 |   |  1 min read

Soundgarden:Superunknown
Soundgarden: Telephantism (Universal)

Once they hit their stride around the time of Badmotorfinger in '91, Soundgarden out of Seattle had shaken out the ragged semi-punk and yelping metal for a much more dense and intense attack.

Material like Jesus Christ Pose (here in a searing, seven minute live version of deconstructed noise) was a quantum leap from the noise they were making on the SST label, and even Badmotorfinger's predecessor Louder Than Love.

Now reformed -- they split in '97 -- they allow us a look back at their world domination period with this 24-song double disc and DVD collection (20 videos in all which includes uncensored versions).

Always a thrilling guitar band -- was Kim Thayil the only guitarist from the grunge era who had been studying philosophy before the music took over? --  it is that megaton riffing and sonic density (Spoonman, Pretty Noose) which was a massive part of their appeal as sometimes singer Chris Cornell's high yelp (Birth Ritual) could be hard going.

When Cornell (interviewed here in '92) dropped it down a notch and let go a lung-bursting attack (Jesus Christ Pose, My Wave, Superunknown, the great Black Hole Sun, Fell on Black Days) they were to be counted as one of the best hard rock bands on the planet.

This chronological collection -- which includes half a dozen pre-Louder Than Love tracks which are a bit of grueling trek, and a decent booklet -- shows their growth and, with a couple of exceptions, it is a thrilling journey from halfway through the first disc (Big Dumb Sex onwards) to the previously unreleased Black Rain at the end of the second.

Not one to play at moderate volume, we might add. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various; Contemporary New Zealand Poets In Performance (AUP) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Various; Contemporary New Zealand Poets In Performance (AUP) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

This second volume of an excellent series (with CDs) of New Zealand poets reading their own work came from Auckland University Press and was edited by Jack Ross and Jan Kemp. It followed the... > Read more

Field Music: Plumb (Shock)

Field Music: Plumb (Shock)

Having been spectacularly underwhelmed by the much acclaimed previous albums by this British band doesn't mean I don't come to another hoping for the best. But the best here has always be the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BLUE SMOKE: THE LOST DAWN OF NEW ZEALAND POPULAR MUSIC 1918-1964 by CHRIS BOURKE

BLUE SMOKE: THE LOST DAWN OF NEW ZEALAND POPULAR MUSIC 1918-1964 by CHRIS BOURKE

In the introduction to Stranded in Paradise, his 1987 survey of New Zealand rock'n'roll from 1955, John Dix addressed the question he had been constantly asked, “What's happening with the... > Read more

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON reports from the city in the headlines

GUEST WRITER ANDREW DAWSON reports from the city in the headlines

Yesterday began as a beautiful sunny day, with a cool and refreshing breeze. I caught up with friends back home in NZ, and in Denmark, and then headed off to lunch with my friend Sunila at... > Read more