Saturday, March 20, 2010

Audioslave - Audioslave


I had high hopes for Audioslave, both the band and the album, I truly did.  I've been a big fan of Chris Cornell, both as a guitarist and vocalist since his days with the mighty Soundgarden.  (I saw them at the 1994 Big Day Out while standing in the pit between the stage and the audience, thanks to an ex-girlfriend's press pass - hi Leah!).  RATM hasn't had the same impact but I certainly can't deny their appeal.

This self-titled debut has all the bits of both Soundgarden and Rage Against The Machine that made both bands something special.  RATM fans would probably disagree with me but Chris' vocals add such a fuckin' huge dimension to the powerhouse trio from Rage, it's hard not to be blown away by the huge sound Audioslave achieve.  At least at the start, anyway.

The reality of what they do, however, is somewhat disappointing.  I wanted it to be more than what it was.  The first few songs teased me into believing it would be.  Cochise is the best song Rage never did and I haven't tired of listening to it.  Show How To Live backs up the promise with brooding intent - Cornell's croon is just superb.  Then Gasoline's groove adds another dimension and had me nearly sold.  But the rest of the album falls over its great, stumbling rock feet and the smash I expected suddenly becomes kind of predictable and, frankly, formulaically boring. (Mine says: what a shock- we agree!)

The best piece of news I've heard in ages is that Soundgarden are getting back together.  Perhaps then Chris can put this behind him and move forward.  As for Audioslave, well, the aforementioned tracks will be making their way on to the iPod but that's about it.   



Does every rock guitarist want to make a Led Zeppelin album?  Really, take a listen to Cochise.  Is that, or is that not, Whole Lotta Love?  A pretty poor version, too.  Quite frankly there's a whole bunch of songs on this album that are either versions of Zep or Black Sabbath or some other shouty-boy music.

I did like Hypnotise, and again this album is well constructed and mixed.  Just boringly derivative for the most part.


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  1. I had very high hopes for this album just like Yourz, but unlike Yourz I was a huge RATM fan but not so high on Soundgarden. The album was definitely a disapointment, and like you said, "Cochise" was such a tease. Tom Morello is one of my favorite guitarists, he's so incredibly innovative, but I don't think he had the same kind of freedom with Audioslave that he had with RATM. I don't think Cornell or the band held him back, but I think it was more of a result of the direction they were going.

  2. Jeff, for me, it was so disappointing, I didn't even bother to listen to their other albums. And while I agree Tom Morello is a good guitarist, this alone can't rescue ordinary songs.

    I have high hopes for the Soundgarden reunion.

  3. I am not so sure about the Soundgarden reunion...I think the website was set up because they are releasing(officially) old concerts and re-designing all of the merch you can't find anywhere. Ever see a Soundgarden shirt anywhere? Krist Novacelic says it aint happenin. And Pearl Jam goes on a tour in May.

    That said, I tolerated this album because of the song Like a Stone...its a great one. Chris didn't get his voice back for several more drugs and drink...I saw him live in 2006 and he did songs from ASlave, SGarden, TOTD, and his solo stuff...he hit every note.

    I want that reunion to happen more than most....but until then I'm happy listening to Badmotorfinger on repeat.

  4. BTW my address is Seano
    512 E. Murdoch Rd.
    Philadelphia, pa 19119

    I like presents, as long as it doesn't contain the word 'Lil on it anywhere...and will be sure to return the favor.

  5. Seano, say it aint so! They have to reunite and they have to tour, if only to satisfy my wanton desire to see them perform again. I know I won't be lucky enough again to be standing in the pit between audience and stage, but I don't care.

    Good to hear Chris has his voice back. I was worried about him for a while back there.


  6. I, too, was intrigued by the concept behind Audioslave. However, the execution was sorely lacking. What we ended up with was a languid offering that felt like a paint by numbers affair.

    Completely underwhelming.

  7. Peter, first of all, good to 'see' you, mate. Glad you made you're way over to this to have a look.

    'Underwhelming' is the perfect word - wish I'd used it in my review. I still live in hope of Soundgarden getting their collective shit together.