Picks and Pans Review: Louder Than Love

updated 11/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/27/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST


This promising Seattle-based quartet has a style that might be described as soft-metal. Their music is as dark and brooding as any head-banger racket out there, and Kim Thayil's relentless guitar rumble drives the gathering maelstrom along with a particular vengeance. But the patient pace and eerie clarity with which they conduct their sonic havoc make Soundgarden quite distinctive.

For instance, "Hands All Over" attacks you just the way Metallica does, with the throttle pulled back just enough so that while you can see what's coming, you can't get out of the way. Between the heaviness of their controlled version of chaos and lead singer Chris Cornell's voice—angry, haunted and ready to rumble—the band sounds, more than anything else, like an intense, high-voltage, latter-day version of the Doors. That's a neighborhood plenty of rock bands only wish they were able to move into. (A&M)

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