Sunday, May 1, 2011

Underrated Classic - Soundgarden "Down on the Upside"

As we wait for Soundgarden to finally release some new material since they reunited last year, we look back on the band's final record before their 14 year hiatus. The Seattle grunge kings fifth studio album, Down on the Upside, may not go down as one of the band's heaviest albums but it is certainly one of their most successful and most melodic. Firing with the singles "Pretty Noose," "Burden in my Hand" and "Blow Up the Outside World," Down on the Upside was the final nail in the coffin for the genre of grunge and it left the scene on a high note. Working out of Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gassard's Seattle studios, the band wrote, recorded and produced the album all on their own. While recording the album, it was reported that tensions arose within the band, which forced the hiatus after a tour to support the records release. The critical reception of Down on the Upside was mixed, but for what it is worth, 15 years later it not only stands the test of time but shows the versatility of a band that really could have had a chance to be the next Led Zeppelin due to Chris Cornell's powerful vocals, the band's insane rhythm section and Kim Thayil's awe inspiring guitar work. While, the opportunity for the band to still take that spot is still available, we shall see that if 15 years later they want it or even care to try. Whatever it maybe for the future of Soundgarden's place is rock and roll history, one this is for sure, at one point Down on the Upside looked as if it was going to be the band's final record, if so, they could have left with their heads held high.