Please don’t turn away when you read the name Soundgarden in the following paragraphs. I have made the mistake before of taking thy name in vain and it has come back to haunt me.
Sure, Chris Cornell has become the prototypical rock douche to come out of the 1990s (save Scott Weiland of course), but there was a time when Soundgarden came oh-so-close to inheriting Led Zeppelin’s title of “heaviest rock god’s in the world.”
Then said douchebaggery took over.
While guitarist Kim Thayil took the respectable route and continued doing “heavy” things (give one listen to his contribution on the Sunn O)))/Boris record Altar called “Blood Swamp”), Cornell cut his hair and went on to front the awful “supergroup” Audioslave. Quite soon after they disbanded and Cornell needed another option, he promptly went back into the solo career he started a few years prior. By himself, his work has been described as “the lighter side of Chris Cornell.”
If there are indeed a gods of metal, they might be placing Mr. Cornell in a place worse than hell in the world to come.
Thankfully Los Angeles band Night Horse has come into the picture. While having nothing to do with Soundgarden-alumni (they do count Sam Velde of the under-appreciated band Bluebird among their ranks) they do churn out these six headbangers that stick to traditions started by bands that came before them while maintaining a freshness that is usually nonexistent in the tradition-leaning heavy music scene.
Something the band from Seattle that I make mention of once did.
The comparisons to Cornell and Companies’ glory days don’t end there. The first few moments of lead off track “Don’t Need Your Lovin'” harken back to the finest moments of the 1991 blockbuster, Badmotorfinger. A record that has been cited by many of today’s “monsters of rock” as a touchstone in the evolution of what can really only be described as “heavy metal.”
Unlike that bevy of bands whose Marshall stacks reach the sky, Night Horse also takes time to pay homage to groups like Humble Pie and Alice Cooper (another one who has gone the way of the douche) circa 1972 while displaying licks that would make any employee at Guitar Center drop to his knees and weep for joy. Nowhere is this on display better than the entire middle portion of the workout that is “Worried Life Blues.”
My guess is that Dark Horse aren’t out to change anybody’s mind as to if they like this sort of stuff or not, but I’d like to advise somebody to get Mr. Cornell to listen to The Dark Won’t Hide You in an attempt to get his soul back.