Last August, the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan publicly cut down Soundgarden- accusing the band of reforming “only to make money.” He went on to dismiss the band’s recent reunion tour as “one more round at the till.”
Somewhere in the world, Corgan must be kicking himself.
True, as “Been Away Too Long’s” title implies, Soundgarden has been out of the spotlight for quite some time now. However, after several side projects, rumors, and teaser tours and singles, the band has finally released “King Animal-” its first new album in 16 years- and it’s very clear that the break has not weathered them one bit.
On “King Animal,” Chris Cornell and the gang have returned to form in every sense of the phrase- drawing out the best qualities of each of their past albums, molding them together, and sprinkling some impressive new dynamics and production value atop the final product.
“Non-State Actor,” “Bones of Birds,” and “Blood on the Valley Floor,” among others, include some of the most ferocious, inventive riffs and shreds of the band’s career. Meanwhile, Cornell quickly re-establishes himself as one of the best rock vocalists of all time; there is never a time where his vocals don’t impress.
This is the kind of album that makes veterans of the grunge era smile from ear to ear; this is the kind of reunited effort that should stand as an example for any disbanded act looking to follow suit.
“King Animal” is stellar.
All in All:
Standout Tracks: “Black Saturday,” “Bones of Birds,” “Taree,” “Non-State Actor,” “By Crooked Steps,” “Blood on the Valley Floor,” “Rowing”
Soundgarden- “King Animal:” 5/5