Soundgarden
Badmotorfinger


4.0
excellent

Review

by Soundknight USER (10 Reviews)
April 9th, 2012 | 15 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One day driving home from work, some dude with a BAD haircut, drove by you with a crappy MOTOR, and gave you the FINGER.. If that brought you here, I'm sorry to inform you this review has nothing to do with that particular experience.

Badmotor Lineup-

Chris Cornell… Vocals/Guitar
Kim Thayil… Lead Guitar
Ben Shepard… Bass
Matt Cameron… Drums

The band Soundgarden are known as pioneers of the grunge movement in the early 90's. However they started jamming in 1984. Four years later, they release two albums, Ultramega OK in 88' and Louder Than Love in 89'. Each album showcased the band differently. Most of Ultramega OK sounded as if the Stooges carried heavy guitars. Tracks like "Flower" and "Beyond the Wheel" showed a glimpse of what Soundgarden would later become. Louder Than Love sounded distinctly different from its predecessor, sounding closer to Black Sabbath. Soundgarden's sophomore album came with no slump and showed an improvement in their ability to create quality rock songs. By 1991 "Grunge" goes full blown with Nirvana leading the charge with the much-hyped Nevermind. That same year, Soundgarden released Badmotorfinger.

Badmotorfinger is essentially Soundgarden's breakthrough album. It reaches platinum, MTV plays "Outshined", sales increase. The success of Badmotorfinger's reception is in part because of two reasons. One, Cornell's songwriting improved. And two, the the sound quality improved.

Even though no two Soundgarden albums sound alike, Louder Than Love and Badmotorfinger are their heaviest. So what distinguishes Badmotorfinger? Well just as the band progressed with Louder Than Love, they took another step forward with Badmotorfinger. Aside from the album closer, this album has virtually no filler. B-side tracks don't find a place on this album. It's that solid.

Cornell's writing become a strength for the band. Whereas before, it was mostly an ankle weight. "Drawing Flies" is an example of Soundgarden's more peculiar and yet brilliant lyrics. On it, he is tells about his hardships in writing, but his words paints quite a picture. "Outshined" has the most memorable lyric on the album with "I'm looking California, but feeling Minnesota". The chorus line is also arguably Soundgarden's grooviest moment, "Show me the power child. I'd like to say, that I'm down on my knees today." In contrast, "Holy Water"'s "As I'm raped by another monkey circus freak" is one of the band's more disturbing moments. Cornell's lyrics aren't the his only improvement though, his wailing technique is perfected here. Where on previous albums Chris' wailing was more of a distraction to the music, now it's a nice addition. Look to "Slaves and Bulldozers" as a prime example, this track contains some of his most powerful notes.

In comparison to previous albums, Thayil's guitar becomes less complex, in a good way. There isn't a definitive guitar solo on Badmotorfinger like those found on Love. "Gun" and "Full On Kevin's Mom" come to mind. Thayil still delivers the goods though with memorable riffs and more diverted guitar leads. The main riff on "Jesus Christ Pose" tears silence like a helicopter. Another example would have to be "Outshined". The chorus riff to this song screams baddass. Overall, this track has the best guitar work and closest thing to a guitar solo. "Rusty Cage"'s frantic playing is another highlight. The intro introduced the CD well, preparing listeners for the grittiness they're about to experience. Shepard's involvement on this track is noticeable, as his bass deviates from the rhythm guitar frequently.

Because there are more quality songs, and less filler, some tracks get overlooked. "Holy Water" has great lyrics, taking a shot at organized religion. It has a nice riff and a neat twelve second guitar solo. "Drawing Flies" is another underrated track due to its shortness, clocking in at 2:27. Along with the insane lyrics, there's great drum-work here. "Mind Riot" has haunting riffs, like those out of "Louder Than Love", and is possibly the most overlooked song on this album. "Somewhere" would be the best track on the album if it had a better intro, and ended when it should had (3:30/4:21).

As far as drawing comparisons to other artists, "Searching With My Good Eye Closed" is the Sabbath-like on song here. Its features that signature slow-and-heavy riff delivery. Meanwhile, "Face Pollution" is reminiscent of Melvins' early work (Gluey Porch Treatments through Stoner Witch).

As stated earlier, the only skippable track is the closer. "New Damage" is quite repetitive with Chris singing "Get out before you drown", leaving listeners preferring to drown than listen to another two minutes of this track... The guitar leads toward the end doesn't help either. I don't know what exactly Thayil was aiming for, but it just becomes a sloppy end to album. Soundgarden learns from their mistake though. The next two album closers are some of their more brilliant moments.

Recommend Tracks- Outshined, Drawing Flies, Jesus Christ Pose, Somewhere



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Comments:Add a Comment 
HenchmanOfSanta
April 9th 2012


1865 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

New Damage is fucking awesome.

YankeeDudel
April 9th 2012


9313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

THE DEVIL SAYSSSSSSSSSSSS

Digging: Walknut - Graveforests And Their Shadows

Yazz_Flute
April 9th 2012


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jesus Christ Pose rules so hard.

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

sulkenigma
April 9th 2012


62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. Great album but I'm glad this review had less of the blind worshipping that it usually gets on this website.

Cipieron
April 9th 2012


3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first half of Badmotorfinger > second half of Badmotorfinger

xfearbefore
April 9th 2012


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Summary is weird, but otherwise pretty solid review man. Album is so fucking good, my favorite grunge record possibly, outside of Nirvana or AIC's Dirt. Every song rules, I always preferred this to Superunknown though that's a killer album too. Probably 'cause this one has "Room a Thousand Years Wide" and "Jesus Christ Pose".



Happy2review
April 9th 2012


112 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It just barely got the 4/5 ranking. Even though I rank it a 3.5, I actually enjoy Louder Than love more. I can't deny though that when I first got into Soundgarden this album was heaven. But then 3 years ago I got my 1st album, louder than love.

Jesus Christ Pose, Rusty Cage, Drawing Flies, Outshined VS Hands All Over, Gun, Big Dumb Sex, Full On Kevin's Mom. Who wins? I gotta say Hands All Over is probably my favorite between the 2 SG juggernauts.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2012


7271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One day driving home from work some dude with a BAD haircut, drove by you with a crappy MOTOR, and gave you the FINGER.. This review has nothing to do with that experience.

What the actual fuck.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Happy2review
April 9th 2012


112 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey man, it was bound to happen to somebody.

NodScene23
April 10th 2012


264 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

New Damage is awesome. No blind worship on this album. It's 4 average ranking should be higher if anything.

NodScene23
April 10th 2012


264 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

New Damage is awesome. No blind worship on this album. It's 4 average ranking should be higher if anything.

Killerhit
April 10th 2012


5250 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"However they started jamming in the 84'"


What the hell is 'the 84'? Is that some open mike cafe?

"Even though no two Soundgarden albums sound the same, Louder Than Love and Badmotorfinger are the closest alike. They both are Soundgarden's heaviest."


You could of ditched the last sentence or just changed it to 'are the heaviest'. And nice contradictory times there, buddy.


"This album has virtually no fillers, as less mediocre tracks find a landing spot on the album."

I swear to god this sentence almost lured me into a diabetic coma. It's 'virtually no filler' and what is the point of this second sentence? I don't get it, it's just said or written so badly.


"when I would have figured the person would have drowned already roughly 2 minutes into the song."

In the words of Irving: what the actual fuck?

Happy2review
April 10th 2012


112 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

New damage doesn't do it for me. Even though I do listen to it on occasion, I enjoy the chorus riff, the vocals are clearly not Chris's better moments. It can't compare to the gems that Soundgarden has been able to create and I wouldn't consider it one of their decent tracks either.

Badmotor ranks 3rd best for me, behind beast Superunknown is and the innovative and maturation of Down On the Upside. 5 years ago I would have said 2nd best close behind Superunknown.

foxxxyroxxx
April 10th 2012


496 Comments


i dont remember anything from the second half of this but the first 5 or 6 songs are fuckin awesome

Happy2review
April 10th 2012


112 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My god, you're quite the critic Killerhit. Perhaps I should e-mail you my reviews before I decide to post them on the site..

1. I forgot to take out "the" from the previous sentence. My bad.

2. There is no contradiction. It means what it says. All Soundgarden albums sound different. But those two albums are the most similar.

3. That was a poor sentence. I agree.

4. That was supposed to be a bit of a joke. I would understand if not everyone caught that.



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