Chris Schulz

Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: Soundgarden - King Animal

Album cover for King Animal. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for King Animal. Photo / Supplied

"I've been away for too long" sings Chris Cornell at the beginning of Soundgarden's new album. He's got that right: it's been 16 years since the Seattle grunge titans burnt out and folded and King Animal is their first new material since 1996's Down on the Upside.

So it's a shame the reunited quartet don't spend more of their seventh record proving just what a bruising sonic force they can be. Instead, they seem hell-bent on trying to be an older, wiser and - whisper it - more mature version of their raucous incarnation.

The results are uneven: Black Sunday kicks off like an updated Black Hole Sun but meanders, Non-State Actor rumbles along but never really takes off and Attrition threatens to explode but gets cheesy with its "hoo-hoo" chorus.

It's not all bad: By Crooked Steps and Blood on the Valley Floor recall the band's Louder Than Love long-haired metaller days, Eyelids Mouth has a searing Kim Thayil solo, and Cornell unleashes that hair-raising scream of his on slow burning closer Rowing.

But they're a world away from bloodcurdling anthems like Outshined and Spoon Man.

It does enough to erase those awful memories of Cornell's scream solo shocker, but King Animal resembles a dog that's been caged for too long and has forgotten to bark before it bites.

Stars: 2.5/5
Verdict: Grunge gods grow up, results so-so
Click here to buy King Animal by Soundgarden.

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2015, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 29 Nov 2015 13:25:38 Processing Time: 3162ms