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Soundgarden – Live on I5

March 11, 2011 by  

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Soundgarden – Live on I5

NAME: Soundgarden
ALBUM: Live on I5
DATE: 21March2011

LABEL: Sub Pop

RATING: 5/5

FIVE WORD REVIEW: Indispensable Nineties Grunge Nostalgia Trip

LOCATION: Seattle, USA

LINE UP: Chris Cornell – Vocals, Kim Thayil – guitars Ben Shepherd – bass Matt Cameron – drums

Soundgarden Live.jpg

WHAT’S THE STORY?: Ohh, Chris Cornell, what a trooper. After 2009’s universally hated collaboration with everyone’s favourite cuddly bear-man Timbaland (though don’t deny it – everyone secretly enjoys ‘Part of Me,’) he has disregarded his flagging solo career and resurrected the once-legendary Soundgarden. Hooray! But hold your horses, ‘Live on I5’ isn’t the new material we’ve been hankering after since the reunion was announced and unreleased ’Black Rain’ saw the light of day. (Though fear not, it’s coming soon) Rather it’s a live album of the choicest renditions from their West Coast tour of way back in 1996. Makes you feel old, doesn’t it? Now the aging grungers are firmly back in the modern rock consciousness, whoring themselves out to Guitar Hero just like everyone else and rolling around in the profits. This, however will hopefully serve as a fond memory of what Soundgarden once were.

SOUNDS LIKE: This collection of live tracks demonstrate the power of a band at their peak. Everything falls into place showing Soundgarden on blistering form. Live albums are usually a hit and miss affair, for every timeless classic there are a clutch of un-listenable wastes of time, released for the sole purpose of eking out a few precious pounds from fans too blinded by adoration to notice the fuzzy racket they’ve paid for. Thankfully, this is most definitely one of the former. From the opener, a pounding rendition of ‘Spoonman’ to the powerhouse version of ‘Jesus Christ Pose’ that rounds things off, ‘Live on I5’ is one of those rare live albums that is actually worth your time. Phew…

Even the two covers are well-chosen and add interesting facets to the bulldozer sound of the album as a whole. Put together from a variety of performances at the end of ‘96, the tracks blend together seamlessly. Granted, you’re not entirely transported back in time to the massive shows the songs have been plucked from – crowd noise has been turned down considerably, but the trademark heavy Seattle sound is there in spades. By the end you’ll be singing along with ‘Black Hole Sun,’ waving your lighter around like back in the day. Aaahh.

Scuzzy and heavy enough to sound authentic, the recordings hit just the right balance between dirty live tracks and definitive renditions of classic songs. If you’ve been detracted by Audioslave and forgotten just how good Soundgarden were, this is probably a good place to start reminding yourself, and the perfect way to ready yourself for the new material, with not a Timbaland synth in sight.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: This is probably one for completists, but well worth forking out the cash for a bit of rock history.

LINK: http://www.soundgardenworld.com


Submitted By Nadia


 

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