Being fully honest, I wasn't sure how well received an "advice" thread would be, though I wouldn't expect it to be met with too much condemnation and/or disdain (with reference to anyone who might be encompassed by the adjectives I just referenced though, please refrain from replying to this thread as I'm not hoping for any flak from anyone).

Recently I've had an interest in buying another album by one of the "big four" of grunge... To grant a bit of background as to my previous experience and preferences with refrence to the sub-genre, when I was much younger I was borderline-obsessive about Nirvana, but being honest with both myself and whoever reads this, that was primarily just because that was what was one of the "in things" amongst a lot of my peers then (and said types of people were between 11 and 14 predominantly, as if most of you wouldn't be able to infer or presume that). A lot of the lyrical content deserves praise, but with reference to musical composition and/or performance I have almost no interest in them anymore despite owning three studio albums, (that includes their self-titled album to eliminate any chance for ambiguity) and Nirvana Unplugged.

Recently I've become borderline obsessive about Pearl Jam's Ten... In spite of that though, I've read a broad number of contradictory things with reference to the quality and/or general nature to every subsequent release by them, and based off what I've heard of track samples of their subsequent releases, a lot of the material encompassed by later era Pearl Jam sounds totally unique contrasted with almost everything that Ten's comprised of.

I'd actually recently bought Stone Temple Pilots' first two albums primarily due to the fact that based off what I'd heard of track samples a lot of the material composed by them sounded more in common with "Ten" era Pearl Jam than most subsequent releases by them, and I was already familiar with and partial to Scott Weiland's vocals as I own Velvet Revolver's debut album, though beyond the point that I bought them I experienced a decent amount of buyer's remorse; with particular reference to "Core" almost every track sounded completely uniform, and the few that didn't were extremely simplistic in composition and/or came off like blatant filler, hence me wanting to be a bit more discerning with reference to the next grunge album that I buy.

Of the two "big four" bands that I have no prior experience with, I was leaning towards purchasing a Soundgarden album before something produced by Alice In Chains, as I own Audioslave's debut, so once again I can say I'm familiar with and partial to Cornell's vocal style (despite that though, I would expect that with reference to music composition the band has more in common with Rage than Soundgarden, but if I'm wrong feel free to let me know).Being fully honest, my knowledge of music theory is probably moderate at best, and my practical application thereof is next to zero, though I've also seen a decent deal of people herald Soundgarden as being the "musician's band" of all of the most prominent grunge bands, hence a greater deal of interest on my part too.

I didn't know if that would be worth referencing, though as far as specific albums go I was most specifically leaning towards buying either Superunknown or Badmotorfinger, as one of these is what's most specifically attributed to breaking the band into the mainstream, so I assume one of the two is probably most accessible and/or palatable for newcomers to their style (though if I'm wrong, once again feel free to let me know).

With all of this out of the way, I was simply curious as to what's the best starting point of all of their albums assuming there is one that's universal (or otherwise if not, based off what I've stated of my preferences and experience with grunge, what would be best suited to my tastes)?

P.S.: This message proved a bit more elongated than I'd originally intended it to be, and with that said thanks in advance to everyone who's read this far and/or will respond (with valid advice of course).

I didn't know if me saying this would seem absolutely trivial too, though I wasn't sure whether or not the band was best encompassed by the defintion "modern rock" or "alternative"; they're a broadly popular band by this point though, so I definitely didn't think "indie" was suitable, and this just seemed more logical to me... If that was a mistake though, I apologize in advance (most specifically to mods if I might be trying their patience).
Well, I got into Superunknown when I was about 13 I think, way before I picked up the guitar and even longer before I started learning music theory and Badmotorfinger is less 'intricate' than Superunknown, so that shouldn't be a problem. These guys are all fantastic at their instruments, but their greatest musical strength lies in the rhythms and riffs that make use of those rhythms. They make use of lots of different use of different time signatures, and not in the forced way that, say, Dream Theater use them.

Anyway, Badmotorfinger is the badass of the two and Superunknown has better melodies (and in my opinion is the better album), so why don't you just check out a couple of songs from each of them on YouTube and see which appeals to you more?

Also, Soundgarden leans more closely to metal than indie, which should give you an indicator of their sound.


P.S. Pearl Jam's post-Ten stuff is awesome! You should probably give Vs and Yield a try sometime.
Also check out Temple of the Dog and Mother Love Bone. Great stuff.
Ibanez RGT6 EXFX
Fender American Stratocaster
Epiphone Slash Goldtop Les Paul
Carvin DC-135
Washburn G-5V
Taylor 214CEG

EVH 5150 III
Peavey 6505+
Line 6 Flextone III
50s Valco Supro

And as long as we are at it:

Stone Temple Pilots - IV (STP is really Post-Grunge as far as I am concerned)
Alice in Chains - Dirt
Pearl Jam - Lost Dogs
Screaming Trees - Sweet Oblivion

Really though another album like Ten just doesn't really exist.

Some other Post-Grunge worth a look:

Live - Throwing Copper
Silverchair - Frogstomp
Local H - As Good As Dead
Seven Mary Three - American Standard
Candlebox - Candlebox
Toadies - Rubberneck
"Pain or damage don't end the world nor despair, nor fuckin' beatings. The world ends when you're dead, until then you have more punishment in store. Stand it like a man, and give some back."
Just to go about things in a general fashion first, thanks in advance to everyone who had viewed and posted within this thread, as it's generally appreciated on my part.

@ frankv: When I used the term "indie" I wasn't referring to the "genre" that's pseudo-pop punk and/or emo... It seems like that's the most ambiguous means to define music in terms of genre definition nowadays. When I used the term I was just referring to relatively unknown music, as it seems like when grunge was just breaking through to the mainstream it was better defined by "alternative" because it was less than broadly acclaimed and/or enjoyed, though as now its sound has become relatively mainstream I thought modern rock seemed more suitable... I'm not sure if that actually had gotten across very well, but I'm pretty sure that should be clear enough now (and if not, I guess it's a relatively trivial issue anyway).

With reference to your suggestion of me listening to post-Ten-era Pearl Jam, I wasn't sure if I should reference this much too, though I do also own "Live On Two Legs" in addition to Ten, and everything from "Elderly Woman..." beyond is at least worth listening to by my standards. With reference to tracks samples that I've heard of the studio versions of the tracks that I've listened to on that album that aren't off Ten, it seems like most of them actually sound better performed live as opposed to recorded... Also it seems like in addition to being a live album, the album seems a bit like a pseudo-greatest hits, as with reference to Vitalogy most specifically I've heard/read that the album possesses a lot of blatant filler. Of all the tracks that aren't off Ten that I've heard on LTL I'm most partial to four, two of which are each off of Vs. and Vitalogy. Of the two I was leaning towards buying Vs. as from what I've read it's the only Pearl Jam album aside from Ten that's a definitive rock album as opposed to an amalgamation of a pretty eclectic array of genres, plus of all the tracks aforementioned I'm probably most partial to "Elderly Woman". Based off track samples I've heard though, the production quality seems less than par for sure (whether or not that's intentional I'm not sure), and even if it may be rock, it seems to possess a much less distinctive "grunge" sound.

As for your descriptions of each of the Soundgarden albums I made specifc reference to, I'm thinking it's most likely I will buy Superunknown based off what you told me of it, (and being fully honest I'm somewhat happy with the suggestion as I was leaning towards buying that too anyway) though I guess I probably will check out full tracks uploaded on youtube (assuming they're there anyway) too. If you do believe I might enjoy any of their other albums more upon first listen though you're free to reference that much though too within a response back.

I didn't know if I should bother to ask/bring this up, though do you think I'd be very partial to any material performed by Alice In Chains based off what I've told you of my previous experience with grunge and/or my personal preferences? I've read that Jerry Cantrell actually characterizes Alice In Chains as predominantly metal despite the media's contradictory labels, and I listen to at least as much of that as I do generall alternative rock (most specifically thrash metal as far as sub-genres go though in case you'd be curious). As I was disappointed with Stone Tempe Pilots I was thinking they might have a decent deal in common with them as far as music composition goes, though If I'm wrong once again feel free to let me know.

@ dk: I actually just recently bought both Mother Love Bone (self-titled) and Temple of the Dog through online media retailers a few days ago and yesterday respectively. The former was characterized by a bit of reluctance on my part as I'm generally not all that partial to higher-pitched vocals (while reading a review one person had written of the album, they'd described Andy Wood's vocal style as being analogous to an amalgamation of Robert Plant and Axl Rose, neither of who I'm very fond of). Although his pitch is analogous to them though, it seems as far as singing finesse goes he is more skilled than either of them based off what I've heard of track samples. As far as music composition goes the band also seems to have more in common with Ten era Pearl Jam than all subsequent releases by them; I'm pretty confident Stone Gossard is the primary composer of both of the albums' tracks, and most of his compositions are what I'm very most partial to as far as Ten goes.

With reference to Temple of the Dog, that was a bit of an impulse buy, though as I already refrenced I know I'm already partial to both Chris Cornell's and Eddie Vedder's vocals, and so I thought I would like it... That was actually a bit of a catalyst to me writing this thread thinking about that further; beyond the point that I purchased it I was curious as to whether or not Gossard, Ament, or Cornell was most involved in music composition as far as that album goes, and as I didn't have knowledge of that, I was curious as to whether or not the music (exclusively) would sound more like (Ten-era) Pearl Jam or Soundgarden... I don't think I'll regret purchasing it much either way, but I've been surprised despite preconceptions in the past previously.

Thanks again to everyone who has already posted here, and (as far as Frank goes at the very least) I look forward to a response back :-).
AiC and STP aren't much alike as far a '90s rock goes, but I'm not that familiar with STP to be honest.

I really enjoyed AiC's Dirt and their MTV Unplugged is brilliant (although not very metal ). As a rule of thumb, they got less metal with each release. Up until they got back together a couple years back, but I'd wait with those albums.
Last edited by frankv at Mar 9, 2013,