Review Revue - Soundgarden

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This is the face of Sub Pop Records circa 1987. (Can you believe that was over 20 years ago? The mind reels.) Without a doubt, things have changed quite a bit with this local powerhouse of a label since the days of Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Nirvana and Tad. I’m guessing if a time traveler from today were to drop by the Sub Pop offices of 1987 with a copy of the new albums from Iron and Wine, Sera Cahoone, Tiny Vipers, Grand Archives, The Shins et al., the grungy Sub Poppers of ’87 would be astounded -- first that Sub Pop was going to be around and thriving for another 20 years, and next that their sound had diversified so much (but then they could throw on the Thermals and Comets on Fire, and they’d probably feel right at home). Anyway, wherever your tastes stand in the musical spectrum, you have to tip your hat to the people at Sub Pop for giving their all and bringing some of the best, loudest and weirdest of American (and Northwestern) music to the masses.

For now, let us travel back to KCMU. It’s 1987. Sub Pop has released one of their first records, an EP by a dirty, noisy little rock band called Soundgarden. Nirvana and all the rest is yet to come, but our friendly KCMU DJs have this sturdy slab of vinyl to hold their interest. And hold their interest it did:

“Wow! Heavy stuff here. Let me die in my own pool of sweat!”

“I heard that this was originally going to be called Screaming Trees but there were already 2 bands using that name, so they kept the Screaming and chose to name the record after another local band, The Life. But really, Tears to Forget screams big time.”

“Nothin’ like young men screamin’ their durn fool heads off!!”

“Seattle! Live it! This quakes and I gyrate to it!”

“Jonathan, when did you add the hyphen to your name?”

“So just exactly what is ‘Entering’ about??”

“Turn around, homeboy!”

“Art, red dot this guy. The one who wrote this comment.”

“Why?” (Yes, why? And how do you red dot a person?)

“Rocks too hard. So unbelievably cool . . .”

“Missed ya at the record release party, Phil!”

“I still got two stinkin’ years, unless I get some good fake ID, which still won’t work at the Central. Anyway, I don’t look 21. Don’t rub it in, ‘Big Hair.’”

“I think it’s ‘Bono,’ not ‘Big Hair.’”

“Robert Plant wanna-be.”

“Agreed. I really dislike this grunge-cum-metal-noise-thrash. Time to move it down. [Little diagram of M and L, with a down arrow to "HELL"] ‘Hand of God’ segues nicely into ‘Little Lighthouse’ on the Dukes of Stratosphear LP, though.”

“Yer all (both) wussies. That’s why you could get up in the morning as early, and as long, as you did.” (I think our friend John in the Morning might take exception to that statement . . .)

“Time’s up! Move down.”

“I’d like ‘em better if they had the Silver Surfer on their guitars. But that would elevate them to GOD status and I couldn’t stand that.”

“I’ve got this memorized.” (The album? The Silver Surfer comment? Who could say?)

“You sure this isn’t Kingdom Come?”

“Kingdom of Come, dude!

“I love this! Hard, funky, regressive rock.”

“Nothing to say. Kneads me like a wet puppy in Jerusalem.”

Like a wet puppy in Jerusalem. Indeed! Thank you Sub Pop, Soundgarden, and KCMU commenters of yesteryear.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted March 13, 2008 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible to rock too hard? Move them down? No way. All hail Matt Cameron.

  2. Anthony Lombardi
    Posted March 14, 2008 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    This EP blew my mind completely. Ironically, I never stayed a Soundgarden fan, but this one will always have a special place in my heart. It is truly amazing to see the evolution of Sub pop records.

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