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Soundgarden couldn't have picked a better time to issue its best album yet,
BADMOTORFINGER, in the fall of 1991. The Seattle explosion (which also included
Nirvana, Pearl Jam, andAlice In Chains) was just about to take off, and along
with such other classic albums as NEVERMIND, TEN, and FACELIFT, BADMOTORFINGER
benefited greatly from all of the newfound media attention and critical praise.
New bassist Ben Shepherd fit in perfectly with the band, evidenced by this
incredibly consistent album. Although Soundgarden's breakthrough hit,
"Outshined", remains the best-known track, the whole album is a
must-hear from beginning to end.
While BADMOTORFINGERis certainly best experienced listening all the way through, single standouts include the barnstorming album opener, "Rusty Cage", the all-out assault "Jesus Christ Pose", as well as the crawling "Slaves & Bulldozers", and the tranquil "Mind Riot". Add to it the back-to-back epics "Searching With My Good Eye Closed" and "Room a Thousand Years Wide", plus the short punk blasts "Face Pollution" and "Drawing Flies", and you have one of the greatest rock albums to ever come out of the Emerald City.
1. Rusty Cage Listen
2. Outshined Listen
3. Slaves And Bulldozers Listen
4. Jesus Christ Pose Listen
5. Face Pollution Listen
6. Somewhere Listen
7. Searching With My Good Eye Closed Listen
8. Room A Thousand Years Wide Listen
9. Mind Riot Listen
10. Drawing Flies Listen
11. Holy Water Listen
12. New Damage
Soundgarden went onto bigger and better things after this album (with the album that followed this one 'Superunknown', and the excellent track "Black Hole Sun" that got a lot of TV and radio play), but Badmotorfinger was my first introduction to the band after seeing the videos for "Rusty Cage" & "Outshined" on MTV back in the early 90's.
Although a grunge album a heart, this also has plenty of nods toward heavy metal, especially noticable in the aforementioned "Rusty Cage", and the excellent "Jesus Christ Pose". There are a couple of tracks that I felt were filler way back when ("Drawing Flies" & "Face Pollution" in particular), but these grew on me over time, and now fit well into the album whenever it's played - which is regularly.
The greatest thing about this album however are the incredible vocals of Chris Cornell. Never had I heard such power, range and emotion as I did on this release. He was on fire in his Soundgarden days, and never sounded the same during his solo career or with Audioslave. A great rocking record for fans of grunge and metal.