The teasers that Soundgarden have posted on Youtube within the past couple of days have got people asking a lot of questions. Mainly because there’s very little material in them to tease with. A few vocal lines, mixtures of distorted, jangling guitars and a brief instrumental later, many have been left none the wiser from the short clips. Apart from that Chris Cornell has grown his hair back, and someone killed a lot of animals for the new album cover. But have no fear, because there are a few clues lying around, if you know where to look.
First off, expect a much more poppy affair this time round. If the fairly upbeat and catchy Avengers tie-in single ‘Live to rise’ left too much to the imagination, then it only takes a glance at Cornell’s solo album ‘Scream’ to reveal what could lie in store. Whilst hopefully the drum machine will stay locked away at home, the tendency to go for the arena-pleasing chorus could prove all too tempting for the band’s main contributor.
There could also be some interesting guest appearances on the cards. Soundgarden are renowned as being the musicians’ musician (Dave Grohl, of all people, was spotted at one of their reunion shows), and could pull in some big-name contributors. Alice in Chains, who reformed after many years in a similar fashion, managed to rope in Elton John on their album closer to spectacular effect. Who knows, maybe a guitar solo between ‘Garden’s Kim Thayil and Paul McCartney? Probably not, but it’s good to remain optimistic.
Lastly, expect an epic journey. Soundgarden are have a tendency to make long albums with plenty of tracks (their longest clocking in at just over 70 minutes), but they rarely get dull or boring. With the new album having 13 tracks it hopefully shouldn’t be any different, especially if they’ve been saving up their best material for the past 16 years. Poppy choruses and surprise guest appearances aside, there is plenty of potential for an epic album hidden underneath the vague, whitewashed trailer for ‘King Animal’. But we’ll have to wait a couple of months yet.
This article was first posted on September 20, 2012