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SOUNDGARDEN - Badmotorfinger cover
4.00 | 79 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1991


1. Rusty Cage (4:25)
2. Outshined (5:10)
3. Slaves & Bulldozers (6:55)
4. Jesus Christ Pose (5:50)
5. Face Pollution (2:23)
6. Somewhere (4:20)
7. Searching With My Good Eye Closed (6:31)
8. Room A Thousand Years Wide (4:05)
9. Mind Riot (4:49)
10. Drawing Flies (2:26)
11. Holy Water (5:07)
12. New Damage (5:39)

Total Time 57:47


- Chris Cornell / vocals, guitar
- Kim Thayil / guitar
- Ben Shepherd / bass
- Matt Cameron / drums

About this release

October 8, 1991

Limited Edition has Somms Ep a bonus.

Thanks to Pekka, Lynx33, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Badmotorfinger" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US hard/heavy rock act Soundgarden. The album was released through A&M Records in September 1991. It´s the successor to "Louder than Love" from 1989 and there´s been one lineup change since the predecessor as bassist Hiro Yamamoto left Soundgarden shortly after the completion of the recording of "Louder than Love (1989)", and was replaced by Jason Everman (who came from a short stint playing guitar with Nirvana). Everman toured with Soundgarden in support of "Louder than Love (1989)", but left the band immediately after the touring cycle ended. Ben Shepherd replaced him joining Soundgarden in April 1990 in time to be an integral part of the songwriting and subsequent recording of "Badmotorfinger".

Stylistically "Badmotorfinger" continues the heavy/alternative rock sound of "Louder than Love (1989)". Heavy riffs and rhythms, an almost psychadelic and pretty different sounding lead guitar style (often close to dissonant), and Chris Cornell´s strong and distinct sounding voice and commanding delivery in front. He was at the top of his game on "Badmotorfinger", singing and screaming his lungs out. Some of the screams he performs on the album are otherworldly.

The material on the 12 track, 57:47 minutes long album are predominantly mid-paced and heavy, but album single and opener "Rusty Cage" stands out with its faster pace. Along with the two other album singles "Jesus Christ Pose" and "Outshined", "Rusty Cage" are also one of the standout tracks on the album. Because of its strong melody I´d also mention "Holy Water" among the highlights. The remaining tracks are generally well written, powerful, and memorable too, but there are a couple of tracks featured on the album which never stuck in my mind.

"Badmotorfinger" features an organic, powerful, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, and add to that the high level musical performances and the predomintly strong and memorable songwriting and "Badmotorfinger" is a high quality release and a great follow-up to "Louder than Love (1989)", which helped push the band further towards the commercial success they would soon experience. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
One of those revered albums that I just don’t get. Soundgarden has been on the forefront of both the Grunge and Alt Metal movements, and consistently sprinkle in Stoner Metal influence to give themselves a groovy, but occasionally lethargic sound. Badmotorfinger is really where they get their act together, but despite playing in a still fresh genre, Soundgarden already have real trouble standing out.

The fact is, there isn’t anything in this album that grabs me. The riffs aren’t catchy nor are they sharp, just kind of groovy but without soul. The rhythm section is lethargic most of the time, and the vocals are classic yarl vocals that I personally don’t like at all. They don’t really go all out in any direction, sometimes it’s kind of anxious, sometimes it’s more chill, but it’s never doing anything stronger or better than contemporaries. The lyrics are just kind of there, and there aren’t any anthemic or memorable hooks. No memorable anything really.

It’s fine for what it is. I’m not a big fan of Grunge or Stoner so I’ve got my biases. I don’t dislike it at all, just don’t find anything in it worthy of the acclaim it gets.
"I'm gonna break my rusty cage and run"

People will often debate between Dirt and Nevermind as the definitive grunge album, but in my book it'll always be Badmotorfinger. Maybe part of that comes from that fact that I've practically been hearing this album my whole life, but it also defines grunge like no other album. Heavy, dirty, sludgy, it's a massive behemoth of an album, yet also off the cuff and frantic when it needs to be.

Song titles like Slaves & Bulldozers, Searching With My Good Eye Closed, and Room a Thousand Years Wide are not only great titles, but they just bring to mind images of some pummeling force before it's heard in the music. Drawing Flies is as grungy as you can get, bringing the definition of dirty and grimy to its literal form.

It's a perfect showcase of a pure band displaying their talents, no member really outshining (pun not intended) the other. Chris Cornell gives a fiery vocal performance, from the red-faced screaming of Slaves & Bulldozers to the venom spitting of Drawing Flies, he's the closest anyone's gotten to Rob Halford levels of intensity. Kim Thayil's signature guitar style permeates the album, with little being as iconic as Rusty Cage's opening riff (especially for anyone who's also played Road Rash). Ben Shepherd's bass licks can be deceivingly insane, particularly on the jagged and frantic Jesus Christ Pose, or helping a lumbering rhythm section (Slaves & Bulldozers again). Last but not least, Matt Cameron's drumming is simply a pounding force that cements each song into your head.

I could go on and on about how fantastic this album is, but I don't want to ramble. It's a genre-defining album, and one of the best metal albums of all time.
Well this is my first album review ever so this will be exiting.

First let me tell you what an awesome album I have in front of me know, just pure heavy, angst full, and raw metal. this is Soundgardens third album release I have not heard the two previous to this, but from what I have read from other sources they are murkier and much harder and the punk influence clearer. But let’s get back to the Badmotorfinger review... this album is certain to give you a crazy ride, through angst filled, and angry Seattle natives minds, the musicians’ on this record are Chris Cornell (vocals, guitar, most of the words, and main tunesmith), Kim Thail (guitar), Matt Cameron (drums and backing vocals) and newcomer Ben Shepherd (bass and some Lyrics) I will not go overly technical regarding instruments or music theories but i will explain the album track by track with the best of my ability.

1. Rusty Cage - First this song rocks! What a great starter, it really settles the album in high gear, you can feel thees guys are ready to conquer the world with this song. the guitar are playing a dissonant riff, with a rumbling bass, and great drum performance. the vocals by Chris are top notch he have an incredible range. the song goes on for a while in high tempo, then a bridge, then suddenly starts the time-signature rollercoaster ride 3/4, 2/4 and 5/4 are the signature that carry us through this whit an awesome drummer and "metronome" Mr. Cameron. Trivia, this song was covered by the legend Johnny Cash. 5/5

2. Outshine - this song starts suddenly after the first, with a crunching guitar riff, one of the top Soundgarden songs and most famous, also one of the first examples of alternative metal, this song is quite complex and carris us through heavy, light and dark passages. great drum preformance. the pre course is cool 5/5

3. Slaves & Bulldozers - starts with a low tuned bass guitar, then some vocal, this song is dark and slow, almost sludge metal, the vocals by Chris on this song is inhuman sometimes he hits really high notes, it's even hints of growling on the last part. 4,25/5

4. Jesus Christ Pose - this song is like the craziest rollercoaster ride you will ever take. It feels like being sucked in to a worm hole of fire and heat. Heavy metal at its best, rumbling rock, angry and pointing a finger against religion. Technical guitar riff and drum pattern. Some of the best riffs I’ve heard in a long time. It got banned from MTV because of its anti-relgious message. 5/5

5. Face Pollution - is a short song which is a mix of heavy metal and punk rock, fast and catchy yet contribute some surprises a long the way, a Rush-like section were they somehow point a finger against the other grunge bands "try to do this after us" still crazy drum performance and impressive bass line as well. 4/5

6. Somewhere - have a overdrive bass effect which is the standout feature on this song because it creates a cool sludgie groove in the verse and in the bridge, some interesting guitar plucking in second verse, really cool song which gets better each time you listen to it and good corous, nice fade out with awesome bass overdrive line then the song increase back again COOL. 5/5

7. Searching With my Good Eye Closed - starts with a funny spoken word part then this turns into a groovy alternative metal song. Nice groove. But also the song closest to grunge on this album, albeit this is grunge it is in the highest quality of their pears. Not the best song on the album but it's still more then good enough 4/5

8. Room a Thousand Years Wide - hard crushing heavy metal riff, some odd-time signatures, sludge metal. this song also features some saxophone this automatically gives this song a jazzy feel (almost avant-garde) 4,25/5

9. Mind Riot - starts of with some nice bass guitar then some cool guitar riffs, this song have a nice atmosphere Chris Cornell sings really well here. I really like the guitar melodies here. Matt Cameron really brings some creative drum patterns here. I feel this song contribute to the overall good feeling of this album, the feeling of creativity gives this album a rare quality thanks to songs like this 4/5

10. Drawing Flies - is probably my favourite song on this album after Outshine. a really funny song, mind-blowing metal riff, again you hear some jazz instruments this time the sax, is complained by trombone and there is some really cool bass grooves, this song is all about groove, but with what i will cal, hints of free jazz 5/5

11. Holy Water - a very good hard rock song with lots of variation and layers, with a catchy and infectious corous, nice guitar solo, great song and Matt Cameron have some backing vocals (he also have backing vocals on Outshine)5/5

12. New Damage - this song is EPIC really shows were the band is heading, and it shows what the later album Superunkown will sound like. this song is almoust boundring to Stoner Metal. The sketches for Black Hole Sun are laid here. a slow menacing song, the psychedelic elements is strong here, and it builds and builds, intense song that demands concentration from the listeners (still after 50 minutes.) the epic finale 5/5

this album is a masterpiece of metal, but this album is not just a metal album, the song writing here is really the magical recipe here, top notch musicians, with Chris Cornell as the top chef and Matt Cameron as the steersman who sails the ship, with Kim and Ben adding the nuances. Soundgarden was not only one of the founding grunge band but also the band who draw the links between Alt rock and Alt metal closer, they contributed alot to the development of both Sludge metal and Stoner metal. you can bet the progmetal band Mastodon learnd a few tricks from Badmotorfinger and the later Superunkown.

Easy 4 and a half star almost 5

Members reviews

11/04/2021 - Since writing this review, I have come regard this album as a 5 out of 5. It appears that a remastered edition of the record has fixed some of the production issue I felt negatively impacted headphone listening. This is one of the best records Chris Cornell has ever put out.

----- Badmotorfinger is an ear-bleed inducing balls to the wall heavy trip from start to finish. Cornell pushes his vocals to the absolute limit of their range and distortion abilities. Despite being the album that brought Soundgarden into the mainstream, the song writing is better than anything else they had done as a group until then. Specifically, this album has a unique way of utilizing Cornell’s vocal leads to resolve the dissonant riffs and accompaniment.

The album’s only downside is the dated production choices which negatively affects earphone listening. But this is easily overcome when playing the album on a good stereo system.

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