News of a new Soundgarden album should be dominating the world of music right now, but for some reason, it is not. I think that is all that needs to be said about today in order to convince you to buy this album right now. There are plenty of other goodies to be had as well, but truly, the return of Soundgarden should be heralded by booming album sales. Let’s all make that happen and show the world that pop and sampling are not the things that rule American music.
Soundgarden, King Animal (Universal Republic)
I shouldn’t have to give any introduction on this album, but for the sake of those readers who might be younger and thus unfamiliar with the mastery of Soundgarden, I will exposit briefly. Being one of the only Seattle grunge bands to not have their career marred by death, either of a band member (see Exhibit A and Exhibit B) or of concert-going fans (see Exhibit C), Soundgarden’s demise in 1997 was one of the final blows dealt to grunge before it was ultimately replaced by nu-metal in the early 2000s. Their subsequent reunion in 2010 (doubtlessly fueled by the success of Alice in Chains’ 2009 comeback album Black Gives Way to Blue) was a cause for celebration among grunge fans, who hoped for another of the ’90s grunge stars to successfully return to prominence. And although this album has taken almost two years to record, mix, master, and release, initial reviews are stating that the wait has been worth it. So don’t let the bad taste of Audioslave that’s still in your mind drive you away from this album. Trust me, it’s worth it to accept Soundgarden back into your life again.
Deftones, Koi No Yokan (Reprise)
As Deftones bassist Chi Cheng continues to recover from the car accident that left him in a coma in 2008, the band still soldiers on, releasing their second album with substitute bassist Sergio Vega and working to raise money and support for Cheng’s medical expenses. Koi No Yokan sees the band entering an even more experimental stage of their career, which may be due to Vega having an increased role in music composition this time around. Critics seem to love it, as the early reviews of the album are all giving it top marks. Go read the gushing review posted by MetalSucks for just a microcosm of what is being said about this album.
Machine Head, Machine F**king Head Live (Roadrunner)
When critics say that the best way to experience Machine Head is in a live setting, they are absolutely correct. And having seen Machine Head a number of times live myself, I wholeheartedly concur with this statement. Whether it was my first time seeing them (as third billing on a tour behind Lamb of God and Trivium in 2007), or the most recent time (headlining the second stage of the Mayhem Festival in 2011), Machine Head has never failed to impress. Those who have never experienced Machine Head live can now do so, though, at least in audio format. This two-disc live album features fifteen of the band’s essential live tracks, spanning their entire career and delivered with all the intensity and fury that only a Machine Head show can muster. I encourage everyone that hasn’t seen Machine Head live to go pick up this album. If this doesn’t convince you to get tickets for one of the remaining dates of their current tour with Dethklok, then I don’t know what will.
Also being released this week:
Motionless in White, Infamous (Fearless)
Otep, Sounds Like Armageddon (Victory)
Mob Rules, Cannibal Nation (AFM)
Gifts from Enola, A Healthy Fear (Mylene Sheath)
Secret Sphere, Portrait of a Dying Heart (Scarlet)
Orden Ogan, To the End (AFM)
Solisia, Universeasons (Scarlet)
How to Destroy Angels, An Omen EP (Columbia)
Corrosion of Conformity, Megalodon EP (Scion AV)
Next Week: Reissues lead the day on a slow week of new material. Oh, and for some reason, all of the new albums are coming out on a Monday instead of a Tuesday. I’ll try to figure out why that is in time for next week’s column.