Reprinted without permission from Metal Hammer, May 1990


Marquee, London - reviewed by The Technicolour Twins

Soundgarden by name and soundgarden by nature. A nature untamed - in fact a proverbial fuckin' wondrous jungle complete with painted people, poisonous snakes and birds of paradise.

It's the first of two 'if there were any more people in here the beer would run out' nights at the Marquee and everyone who's anyone has turned up to see the spectacle from Seattle.

And do Soundgarden disappoint? The hell they do!! They seem to have rummaged in the Pandora's Box of musical influences from heavy metal to wanton psychedelia and come up with something quite spontaneously mind-fucking. Each song rolls along with oceans of distorted guitar courtesy of Kim Thayil and swells of intense vocals.

Chris Cornell enjoys his role as the Soundgarden oracle and noticeably takes great pleasure in the uncontrollable audience reaction and their sheer unadulterated love for the band. The stagediving takes on epidemic proportions with everyone from punks to glamsters taking the plunge. The bare torsoed Cornell delights the masses with his easy stagecraft like a new age temptress. The band possess a splendid voltage of energy little seen in such proportions. Their humour is evident with a cover of Spinal Tap's classic Big Bottom fitting into the set with as much ease as the can of Red Stripe lubricating our throats.

Being compared to luminaries such as Black Sabbath hasn't affected Soundgarden, they've culled all the best bits from all the mega-bands of the century and hauled them kicking and screaming into the final decade. Their single and title track from the recent album Louder Than Love reaches even dizzier heights live than it does on vinyl, in fact all their contributions to the world of gorgeous grooves come to life with an explosive bang. It seems that all you need to do to make Soundgarden great is add an audience. A little like a packet of instant mash - just add water and stir.

Final comment on the evening, in true, superficial bimbo style; Mr Cornell, you need a few more scars on that there torso before you chart in the 'incredibly desirable frontman' stakes, but of course we doubt if you care about that.