by Ryan Meehan
Tuesday brought us the release of the soundtrack from the new movie “The Avengers”, a real-life superhero movie based off of the Marvel Comics series of the same name. This may not come as a huge shocker to anyone who frequents FOH, but I’ve never bought a comic book in my whole life. I never had any interest in reading comics, or buying the action figures that accompanied the illustrations. But that’s neither here nor there.
On the flipside, I’m always been a huge Soundgarden fan. I’ve always held myself to the belief that because of the success of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” and Pearl Jam’s “Ten”, Soundgarden’s “Badmotorfinger” got hosed. Almost every song on that record is damn near perfect, but you’d never know it because as musicians that weren’t really recognized by the general public for their genuine talent outside of Temple of the Dog. That is, until “Superunknown” came out and they won a Grammy for “Black Hole Sun”, easily the worst Soundgarden track ever recorded. There are some awesome songs on “Superunknown” and it’s a great album, but “Badmotorfinger” ended up being rolled over when in my opinion it was clearly the better album. I blame all of the flannel. And that awful “Singles” movie.
Audioslave didn’t strike me as interesting, particularly because they didn’t take any chances and they sounded EXACTLY like what everybody expected them to sound like. “Hey, have you heard that new band with Chris Cornell singing over Rage Against the Machine’s rhythm section? It sounds almost identical to Chris Cornell singing over the rhythm section from Rage Against the Machine…Far out, man…”
So I can’t really say that was expecting a whole lot out of this track, but I was interested to hear it, and this is what I thought:
FIRST LISTEN: SOUNDGARDEN – “Live To Rise” from “The Avengers” Soundtrack
Link to song is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9318WhMQr18
(We will be updating FOH in the very near future so that you can just view the video from our page.)
The initial feeling I get from the angle of the guitar sound is that it sounds very much like the typical fuzz sound that made Soundgarden such a hit amongst guitar players. As for the riff itself, it sounds very White Stripes-like, I can’t put my finger on which song but there’s three notes in succession that sound the same as WS track. And there is definitely a Jack White feel to the whole thing, that sort of arching blues metal hook. The vocals sound very clean, as did most of Cornell’s vocals during the lighter parts on earlier SG records. The bridge is cool, very low key and spacey, but overall I just felt like the song never really got going. Which is really disappointing when you consider that it’s a song from a soundtrack that’s supposed to be about superheroes. You want it to be much more explosive and dynamic, and it’s just not there. And like I said, when clean the vocals are great, but they never get that heavy at all. The song structure is good, I just didn’t find myself that compelled to listen to it again and again like I did the first time I heard “Fell On Black Days” or the guitar riff from “Slaves and Bulldozers”. The only reason I have for giving it higher than a five is because it’s Soundgarden and not some of the other modern rock trash that’s readily available on your local radio station.
First Listen Score: 5.1/10.0
Although it’s not classic Soundgarden, I do want to make this clear: I’m not giving up on the band at all. A lot of critics tend to do that – to say they aren’t listening to a certain artist anymore after they change their lineup or put out a bad record. (Examples include when Matt Sharp left Weezer or when Styx put out “Kilroy was Here”) The incurable optimist in me wants to believe that if anybody can come back and blow the doors off of rock n’ roll again, it’s Soundgarden. So I’m not ready to wave the white flag yet, but this song certainly wasn’t a step in the right direction for die hard fans.
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