Sound — 9
Just when I thought I had all the Soundgarden albums, I found out there were actually two that weren't very well known (probably because they weren't produced under A&M's label). These records were produced under the 'SST' record label. This SG album dates all the way back to spring of 1988 (that's when it was recorded, the songs were probably written in the mid to late eighties) and it's a very different Soundgarden. Cornell and the gang sound similar to their later recordings, but this album seems totally experimental in their sound. The music was written by all members of the group, not just Thayil and Cornell. It's great to hear some of their really early stuff.
Lyrics — 10
Cornell's lyrical genius is hard to match, and it's certainly not missing from this or any Soundgarden album. The topics change from album to album but every song is very smart and quite often you will be hard pressed to find the meaning (if any) deep within each track.
Overall Impression — 10
My favorite song on the album upon first listening to it is 'Beyond The Wheel'. This is a great album for any Soundgarden fan, and some of their interlude tracks remind me a lot of 'Tool'. It's experimental as I said, so people used to 'Superunknown' or 'Badmotorfinger' are going to have to keep an open mind. But for those of you who like something new, I highly reccomend it. The only problem with this album is that it's so incredibly hard to find. I already had a really hard time getting my hands on a copy of 'Louder Than Love'. So if you can find this album, or 'Screaming Life/FOPP', grab it and don't let it out of your sight.