Green River were an alternative rock band from Seattle, Washington which formed in 1984 and went on to have a huge influence over the later grunge movement which gave us such rock staples as Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden. Along with acts such as Pixies and Melvins, Green River are often seen as a precursor to the scene which was characterised by angst ridden stripped down rock arrangements influenced by elements of indie rock, punk and heavy metal. Come on Down was their first album, released in 1985.
The album is probably best recognised in it's historical light, as it is arguably one of the first grunge albums ever recorded. From the feedback swells of the opening title track and its discordant sludgy power chords there a distinct sense of fresh energy to the now overblown genre, vocalist Mark Arm's toneless wailing something akin to the delivery of both early Chris Cornell and Kurt Cobain. All of the tracks here are very similar in sound, particularly Ride Of Your Life
, Corner Of My Eye
and Tunnel Of Love
which carry the faster punk influence of the band more prominently then the rest but it is the menacing sludge of New God
, and the intricate chords of the timeless Swallow My Pride
which are the two standouts. The latter is considered a grunge classic in it's own right (It would later be covered by Soundgarden on the Screaming Life/Fopp EP). There is not much else to talk about unfortunately as the content of the album itself is perhaps exceeded by its reputation, but that doesn't stop it being enjoyable.
Come on Down is a worthwhile look at the early development of the Grunge scene, but it could be considered mostly redundant in many ways as even though its influence is immeasurable only a couple of tracks stand out as truly worthwhile. Though the groups output as a whole could be accused of being way too samey, both guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament went on to bigger and better things with Pearl Jam. At the very least they gave us Ten.