London Shepherd's Bush Empire

The songs from new LP [B]'Euphoria Morning'[/B] are, at worst, passable: a little bit [B]Bowie[/B], a little bit [a]Beatles[/a], a whole lot bluesy bar-room power-balladry...

London Shepherd's Bush Empire

Contrary to the drubbing they recently received in these very pages, Soundgarden weren't a Spinal Tapfor spotty wastrels. For a couple of albums, at least, they were an electrifying synthesis of metal mass and psychedelic flair, proof that a band didn't need to check their IQ in at the door to truly rock out.

Their spectre weighs heavy over tonight's performance, and Chris Cornell solo cannot help but suffer by comparison. That his new band are composed of nondescript session musos is a major glitch. With every wretched screech of ugly metal guitar, one longs for the blissful karmic guitar of the 'garden's Kim Thayil.

Cornell's material is also wanting. The songs from new LP 'Euphoria Morning' are, at worst, passable: a little bit Bowie, a little bit Beatles, a whole lot bluesy bar-room power-balladry. But they are also crushingly pedestrian. Of the new songs, only 'Mission' and 'Sweet Euphoria' hint at the brilliance which came before.

A solo acoustic take on Soundgarden classic 'Fell On Black Days' and Cornell's first solo recording 'Seasons' (from the Singles film), take us to the sublime levels we used to take for granted. Let's hope reformation comes sooner rather than later.

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