Not produced by Timbaland…
Patrick St. Michel: No you haven’t.
Jonathan Bogart: I mean on the one hand I’m not invested enough in the greatness of the Seattle alt-rock scene of the ’90s to really be horrified at the self-parody it’s devolved into. On the other hand, it’s really fucking horrifying.
Anthony Easton: Almost too much work to convince people they were never gone in the first place. Think of Eddie Vedder instead, who just worked for decades: for the sake of working, instead of rocking. There is a realization that the retreat and return cycle can be self defeating.
Al Shipley: These old men have been easing into the bathtub for almost three years since they announced their reunion, with tours and compilations and an unearthed outtake single and a soundtrack hit. But now a new album is finally on the horizon, and the damn lead single still feels like a throat-clearing. This kind of bland, self-referential “we’re back!” crap never would’ve flown when their idea of a radio song was called “Spoonman” or “Rhinosaur.”
Brad Shoup: Cornell hangs onto the riff like a more desperate Diamond Dave, but I know Davey would have dropped five compact comeback nuggets before you could yowl “Velvet Revolver.” I guess I’ll give Chris “tankards and flagons and snifters,” and maybe the conga. Thayil’s higher pitches are the only six-string fun, though.
Josh Langhoff: This slow lob across the plate of the internet and Real Rock DJs is a little embarrassing, like the coworker who comes up and says, “Well, I’m back,” and just stands there grinning while you try to remember his absence. It’s blocky and overly scripted but not bad. Thayil’s riffs are solid, Cornell rattles of a list of Dickensian drinking vessels, and the percussion breakdown tries but it’s still not as weird as Daryl Hall singing along with the guitar solo in this non-comeback album track.
Alfred Soto: A wee bit of throat clearing, and not at all bad. But Soundgarden at its best annoyed in the best sense: an unexpected drum crunch, a gnarled Thayil riff, a surprise Cornell yodel. This is as straightforward as satellite radio post-grunge gets.