Listen to this while high: Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger
Behind the buzz: Thursday's upcoming S.F. stop on the Soundgarden reunion tour will no doubt kick a groaning board of ass, so anyone desirous of a preliminary bombardment would do well to crank up this third album and sophomore effort on A&M. If the proposition of interacting with everybody and his plaid-shirted monkey at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium sounds like too much for your hash-sharpened nerves this balmy week, then kick yourself down Memory Lane with this heavy metal boot in the privacy of your pad or squat.
This week's dope: An indica strain sporting the B-movie moniker of Soul Assassin. Two tokes induce a stoner variation on the fabled thousand-yard stare. Distant puffball fancies take on gunsight clarity as all else folds into a pleasant haze. This is Class A pain relief for muscles aching from the strenuous summertime life.
Mind riotous: Old Sam Coleridge once had a few exquisite words on fancies issuing from "pipe's trim bole," but his meditations never huffed this stuff. The album's doubleshot open of "Rusty Cage" and "Outshined" initiate a deep metallic groove with moody variations late in the second track coming in like some stray swatch of J.S. Bach arranged for gunpowder and chainsaw.
In "Slaves & Bulldozers", the anthemically accusatory lyric "Now I know why you've been shaking" shakes loose the hypnotic mood with all the tiny compressed fury of a purple face barking of treason on Fox News. "Jesus Christ Pose" spits more energetically withered contempt, this time at a species of attitudinizing even more common today than in the early '90s. "Face Pollution" and "Somewhere" keeps the melodic sludge-mill rolling in sinister Blakean fashion. The former's horror at all the machine-stamped mugs out there is sustained through most of the rest of the album, with Chris Cornell growling in David Clayton Thomas' best stolen blues holler and the band warping together a monument to total disaffection that now bulks larger and curiouser than Ten or Nevermind in the Hall of Grunge.
"New Damage" plays us out still fuzzwitted with the hellish vision of a New World Order ready to wreak Godzilla Vs. Megalon-sized waste on you and all you know. This alone is enough to make Michele Bachmann start reading grunge lyrics like goat entrails.
Psychoactive verdict: Despite this LP's double-platinum cert, if you were around during the '90s, you don't remember owning it.