Dig and Discover: Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger
LABEL (YEAR): A&M (1991)
FOR FANS OF: Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Rage Against The Machine
Words by Chris Gaduzo
We all know Nirvana was the grunge band. The release of a new Kurt Cobain documentary every year reminds us of that. But the early 90s grunge movement produced other incredible albums that, dare i say it, make Nevermind sound like child’s play.
Badmotorfinger is the third album by Soundgarden, whose earlier sludgy metal was quickly giving way to a sound that was unlike any of their peers. Characterised by the manic wails of frontman Chris Cornell and the bizarre tunings and riffs of guitarist Kim Thayil. From the more straightforward ‘Rusty Cage’ and ‘Jesus Christ Pose’ to the headfuck riffs of ‘Face Pollution’ and ‘Room a Thousand Years Wide’, Badmotorfinger is the sound of a band at their most innovative.
The genius thing however, is that when Soundgarden do something weird, it’s not at all obvious. For example, you'll find yourself bobbing your head to the main riff of ‘Outshined’ before you notice it’s in 7/4 timing. Thayil’s guitar is doing some strange things during ‘Slaves and Bulldozers’, but Cornell's wail is so totally unhinged that it’s hard to divert your attention from it. Their next album Superunknown might have been Soundgarden’s biggest (and another classic in my eyes) propelled by single ‘Black Hole Sun’ and ‘Spoonman’, but Badmotorfinger captures them at their absolute creative peak .