SOUNDGARDEN — Louder Than Love

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SOUNDGARDEN - Louder Than Love cover
3.83 | 22 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1989

Tracklist

1. Ugly Truth (5:26)
2. Hands All Over (6:00)
3. Gun (4:42)
4. Power Trip (4:11)
5. Get On The Snake (3:43)
6. Full On Kevin's Mom (3:37)
7. Loud Love (4:57)
8. I Awake (4:21)
9. No Wrong No Right (4:48)
10. Uncovered (4:32)
11. Big Dumb Sex (4:11)
12. Full On (Reprise) (2:42)

Total Time 53:15

Line-up/Musicians

- Chris Cornell / vocals, guitars
- Kim Thayil / guitars
- Hiro Yamamoto / bass
- Matt Cameron / drums

About this release

Label: A&M
Release Date: September 5, 1989

Howie Weinberg: Mastering
Steve Thompson: Mixing
Michael Barbiero: Mixing
Terry Date: Producer, Engineering

Recorded at London Bridge Studio, Seattle, WA, 12/88 - 1/89
Mastered at Masterdisk

Thanks to Pekka, Lynx33, Unitron for the updates

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SOUNDGARDEN LOUDER THAN LOVE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Unitron
"Hands all over the inland forest. In a striking motion trees fall down like, dying soldiers."

Only a year after the band's phenomenal debut, Soundgarden came out with one of the greatest yet sadly underrated metal albums of all time. Louder Than Love, and that's what it is. Slamming hammers of sludgy headbanging riffage and rhythm rain down upon the listener like an erupting volcano, while Chris Cornell's screams have the forcefulness of a primal battle cry. This album is louder and heavier than pretty much anything else, and for me represents everything that is beautiful about heavy metal.

Where to start with this masterpiece? From beginning to end, Soundgarden gives the middle finger to weak moments and anything that isn't heavy. I guess "Hands All Over" is a good place to begin rambling about my love for this album. If you thought all environmental messages in music had to be 60's hippie sunshine pop, you're just wrong. This song will slam your face against the pavement with a chunky bass riff and guitar groove, massive and thunderous drums, and Cornell's primal screams of heartfelt fury. I've always loved Cornell's uses of metaphors with lines such as "turning eagles, into vultures" and the aforementioned one at the beginning of the review. This is easily the best environmental metal song you'll find (Though Testament's "Greenhouse Effect" from the same year is great too).

Louder Than Love has a perfect balance between heavy as fuck 70's-sounding grungy doom metal, massive slabs of sludge, and headbanging 80's metal. "Gun" is a perfect mix of sounds, and may be the best on the album. The lumbering drums that open up the track prepare you for the face-melting riffing that wipes the floor with any other song of its kind. The main riff is brooding, punishing, and wants nothing but to kick the listener to the floor in the mosh pit. It slowly picks up speed, and has one of the best progression flows I've heard in any song. The peak speed of the song occurs after Cornell's spit of "fuck 'em up", and is followed up with what should be known as one of the best guitar solos of all time where Kim Thayil just shreds in a swirling mass while Cornell's screams fade into the background. The song slows back down to the pure doom plodding for the end, with some agonized screams and finally one more bellow of "I've got an idea, of something we can do with a gun".

For the old school doom metal fans, Soundgarden channels Black Sabbath here better than any other band out there. Take a listen to a song like "Power Trip", and Kim Thayil is the one who really brought back the Tony Iommi riff back into metal, while blending it into his own unique guitar sound. His solos wail and screech, and he and Cornell deliver bludgeoning riff after riff. "Loud Love" should be more known as an ultimate headbanging anthem, with a colossal hook that is just instant with getting the head moving. "Get on the Snake" is another one that is just a massive stomp. The beast of an opener, "Ugly Truth", "Uncovered", and the beast of a closer "Big Dumb Sex" don't have any shortage of gargantuan hooks either.

The first three Soundgarden albums show every reason why Chris Cornell is probably my all time favorite vocalist. This album in particular, he rarely turns down the siren. Almost every song has him screaming at high levels of high energy, putting tears in my eye as I attempt to scream along to the red-faced and monstrous performances. When he's not unleashing his battle cry, he's either complimenting a slow doom crawl with stoner bellowing or snarling and spitting in "No Wrong, No Right". Just the delivery of the last lines in that song, 'No wrong, no right. Guilt admission, you've been bitten". It's so biting and somehow beautiful at the same time.

Of course, everyone contributes equally to this beast of an album, and the rhythm section is a huge part in the heaviness just like the rest. I already mentioned it when describing "Hands All Over", but Hiro Yamamoto's bass is almost always contributing to a massive groove, especially on that colossus of a song. When not grooving, it's a rapid thumping spitfire like on "Full on Kevin's Mom", or helping carry a haunting atmosphere like with "No Wrong, No Right". Matt Cameron is the first thing you hear on the album, as he opens up "Ugly Truth", right up with a drum fill. His performance is explosive and thunderous, and carries some real weight. Whether it be the crashing cymbals that open up "Gun", the rolls that open up "No Wrong, No Right", or the huge stomp that commands the whole album, he's got it.

Louder Than Love covers everything lyrically. From reflective, to blunt, to moody, its got everything. While hair bands play around with innuendo, Soundgarden doesn't have time for that in a song like "Big Dumb Sex". They just out right scream it, and there's no reason for questions. The speed metal-paced "Full on Kevin's Mom" gets beyond to the point, and flies right into the skin with heat-seeking bass and guitar runs. On the opposite end, you have the discordant and dissonant dirges of "I Awake" and "No Wrong, No Right".

While the debut had a pretty lo-fi sounding production, Louder Than Love has an absolutely massive sound that really makes it "louder than love". I don't think I've heard a sound quite like it, as it melds the warm and raw sound of 70's metal albums with the louder and larger sound of the 80's. I love the debut, but the band sounds just completely focused here and just wanting to deliver a crushing blow to the skull or bite into the skin on this album.

As you can probably tell with how long and detailed this review is, this is one of my all time favorite albums, probably in my top 10. Along with the next album, this is among what I would call a perfect masterpiece and one of the greatest things ever recorded. While sadly this one goes pretty underrated and somewhat forgotten, this is an album that anyone looking for a crushing, loud, and sludgy behemoth of an album should listen to. It's a true one of a kind release, and shows a band at their most raw and angry. In the world of heavy metal, there's nothing better. Thayil described the band's sound as "zen metal", and if beautiful heavy metal that's louder than love is how you enter a state of zen, sign me up.

https://thewickednest.blogspot.com/2018/04/soundgarden-louder-than-love-review.html
aglasshouse
As I think everyone has at one point, I used to only think of SOUNDGARDEN as an alternative rock band that produced the only song I knew ('Superunknown').

This is not at all the case though, quickly realized I after checking out SG's LOUDER THAN LOVE. Like a heavy grunge ridden sponge, this album hit me in the face repeatedly with every track it produced upon listening. Usually, this is a bad thing, but in the opinion of a metalhead, this was glorious.

Okay, enough poetry. This album is really good. Let me explain why LOUDER THAN LOVE is better than most of what they produced afterwards.

The tone is, deliberately I'm guessing, angry. Rage ridden songs are very abundant on this release. A good example is probably my favorite track, 'Gun'. It starts with a crashing cymbal which quickly, with the entrance of a scream from Cornell, into crunching guitar riffs. These riffs fluctuate from quicker slamming notes to the thundering slow riffs. All the while, Chris Cornell is just screaming his heart out while the beat carries them onward. Of course, 'Gun' isn't the only example of a raging track on here. There are classics, like 'Hands All Over', 'Big Dumb Sex', and 'Full on Kevin's Mom', that literally scream "red-faced" to you.

I mean, not all people like this sound of course; in fact, it enrages most people to the extent of hating it. This could be the reason why this doesn't have a rating of 4.00 or higher on here, but I mean it's just my opinion that it should be that of course.

Anyway, if you do like this sort of metal, then you will very much enjoy this.

Go give it a listen.
Negoba
Raw Angry Young Men

Long before the Grunge explosion, Soundgarden was slowing growing in Seattle, and recorded two CDs before their breakthough Badmotorfinger. The second of these was Louder than Love, a monstrous CD that does everything you'd want for an up and coming band. It showcases their unique style, has some great songs, and most of all captures some of that raw young energy.

Guitarist Kim Thayil still has a firm hold on the band at this point, and his feedback and lo-fi sludgy rhythm are great. Chris Cornell is already a great voice, though he's a long way from where he will eventually reach. The recordings of both are still pretty raw, with Cornell's being a bit overdrenched in reverb and Thayil's guitar lacking some of the big teeth today's recording techniques provide.

But there is no denying these songs. It's hard to think of any song that's quite matched "Big Dumb Sex" in best use of the F-bomb in a song. "Loud Love" and "Hands All Over" are classics. "Power Trip" and "Full on Kevin's Mom" were Soundgarden live show favorites back in the day.

It's interesting that on this second, indie album, the band sounds more focused than they are on some later big-label releases. This is both a strength and a drawback. The sludge gets a litte same-y by the end, but the band never loses its legitimacy. The devotion to the riff and to an underground ethos is unwavering.

Bottom Line: Some Amazing Songs, Indie recording quality, a Record of Youth

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  • dream_salvation
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