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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 20 February 2004
Where to begin? The haunting, warped intro of Rusty Cage to the closing chords of New Damage, this album encompasses all that was great about Soundgarden: riffs that could ingratiate themselves into your subconscious after one listen; Cornell in fine form lyrically (listen to 'Room A Thousand Years Wide', for example) and the best drummer ever to grace my CD player.
People will be familiar with 'Outshined' (my favourite track of all time, bar none) and 'Jesus Christ Pose', but Badmotorfinger offers so much more: the dark and rumbling 'Slaves and Bulldozers', the slow, ethereal riffing of 'Holy Water', the psychedelic trip-fest that is 'Searching With My Good Eye Closed', the feedback-soaked guitars of Kim Thayil and the inspired lyrical content of Chris Cornell.
Put plainly, this is one of the best albums you will ever own. And for the price Amazon are offering it at ........ a steal.
This is my favourite album of the last twenty years.
Par excellence.
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on 25 January 2005
When people say 'there wont be another band as heavy as Sabbath or as riffy as Zepellin' I feel it is my duty as a big Soundgarden fan to point out that there is(was)indeed a band that take hard rock to a new level. They look at me blankly and say 'You mean the band that did Black Hole Sun?' obviously not convinced by my argument.
The proof however, is in the pudding (the pudding in this circumstance being Badmotorfinger). As soon as you hear the opening wail of the intro to 'Rusty Cage' you get the feeling this album isnt going to be your average rocker. The tempo change on the opener is fantastic. The second track 'Outshined' is probably the most well known of this record and its not hard to see why with its crunching riffs and Cornell's top notch vocals. The third track 'Slaves and Bulldozers' takes a while to get used to but proves over time to be a sublimal hard rock song with Cornell again showing his vocal variety. Then we get to 'Jesus Christ Pose'. Written by all the band members, this song is epic. From the feedback drenched intro over possibly the biggest drumbeat known to man through an incredible bassline to the final riffs it is a masterpiece, and one of the best vocal showcases in rock in my opinion. Definately my favourite track. 'Face Pollution is next, and while it seems slightly out of place on the album with its punkier sound, it's still a good fast song. The next song 'Somewhere' is the most interesting on the album with its alternative tuning and perculiar timing and definately a good song. 'Searching with my Good eye closed' is another masterpiece. It has a pychadelic feel to it and overall is a winner. 'Room a thousand years wide' is a great headbanger with its no-nonsense metal riff, but of course Soundgarden had to stamp their own mark on metal by adding trumpets to the climax of the song..Great! 'Mind Riot' is my least favourite on the album. While still quite a good song, it lacks a certain something and sounds as if any band could have written it. We then move on to the fast, 70's style riff of 'Drawing Flies' a great rocker that you'll listen to quite a few times before moving on to the next track 'Holy Water' a heavy crunching downtuned riff does drag on a bit but is still a decent song. The album ends with 'New Damage', again it took a while for me to get into this track but once i did it became one of my favourites of the album.
So overall this is an overlooked hard rock gem.Overshadowed by such less deserving albums as Pearl Jam's 'Ten' and Nirvana's 'Nevermind'. Buy this along with 'Louder than Love' for the ultimate Soundgarden expirience.
Oh, and any of you Nirvanaites who thought Nirvana where heavy, be prepared to get blown away...
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on 6 January 2013
Its hard to deny that Chris Cornell is probably the greatest rock vocalist of all time and on this album he certainly shows why, his voice is just extrodinary, this has some all time classic grunge songs on, such as "Outshined" and "Rusty Cage" aswell as other classic tunes. For anyone new to Soundgarden, start and buy this album first because this has some of the greatest rock tunes of all time on from the 90's grunge era.
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on 8 December 1999
I heard this years ago and it blew me away and I loved every second of it! Rusty Cage, Jesus Crist Pose are just a slice of the Cake they call Soundgarden. In a time when everyone was Nirvana mad, Soundgarden was pulling in the crowds in a more gritty way. Hard edged and as loud as you can handle it. Still sounds as good now as it did then. Pure class. Buy it or fry in Hell!
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on 14 April 2011
Badmotorfinger was one of the first albums I ever bought. At the time, my only exposure to Soundgarden was through endless repeat viewings of 'Black Hole Sun' on Kerrang, and I bought the album on a whim, largely because I liked what I'd heard of Audioslave. My mum asked me what I'd bought. I said 'a grunge album', receiving the desired response of eye-rolling parental denigration. I had no idea what grunge was, I just knew that parents were supposed to disapprove of it. By the time I'd finished listening to the album, I knew exactly what grunge was.
It's difficult to describe what it was like listening to this album first time. I'd listened to rock before, namely my dad's collection of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, along with the more contemporary stuff, but it had never sounded like this. 'Jesus Christ Pose', in particular sounded like some kind of black mass, and it still sounds as fresh as ever, a raw, undiluted blast of pure, unrestrained, diabolical menace. Simply put, I had never heard anything like it, and it introduced my to whole new thing called metal, a relationship I maintain to this day.
The rest of the album still stands up as absolutely stellar. Sure, it shows it's age in places, but the dirty production values just add to the seismic, monolithic power of slow burners like 'Outshined' and 'Slaves and Bulldozers', without descending to the tortured low-fi nadirs of Sleep (as admittedly awesome as that band is). It lends the whole piece an air of prehistoric, Sabbath-esque mysticism. And mystical it surely is. No matter how sludgy and down-tuned things get (and tunings get to spleen-agitating depths) Badmotorfinger never slips into mere stoner rock, thanks to the evident influence of psychedlia and prog, that, I think, raises Soundgarden above their grunge peers, to a level of artistic eminence. Songs like 'Searching With My Good Eye Closed' reach an ethereal fever pitch of majesty and spirituality, even, with Cornell's (to use an appropriate cliche) banshee wails and Thayil's kaleidoscopic soloing swirling and mixing into a distorted cathartic euphoria. Cornell's ambiguous lyrics certainly help the album. Whether what he's writing is some kind of deep, cryptic poetry, or just gibberish seems largely irrelevant. The lyrics sound absolutely fantastic, and Cornell delivers them with astounding bravado. I don't think Soundgarden topped this album, even on the superb follow-up Superunknown, and it remains an absolute masterpiece, perhaps THE crowning acievement of early 90's alternative rock.
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on 18 February 2009
An absolute killer of an album, slightly neglected by some in favour of the more accessible 'Superunknown'. This is the moment in which Soundgarden really discovered their sound, hit their groove and produced a pummelling introduction to smart, heavy, sublime music.

'Grunge' has developed a slightly strange reputation as a deliberately sloppy approach to guitar phrasing, simple time signatures and introverted lyrics with the odd bit of feedback for good measure. This is largely down to Nirvana and their imitators.

Soundgarden sound nothing like this. And 'Badmotorfinger', despite being one of the breakthrough albums of grunge, clearly bucks most of these clichés. This series of now-classic riffs, brought to you by the hugely-underrated and supernaturally talented Kim Thayil, are among the tightest you will ever hear, carefully paced and chosen. No wasted notes, no pointless fretboard self-love, no feedback indulgences. Just great rhythms and superlative phrasing, delivered with a rare warmth and punch.

All that would be enough to make this essential listening. But Soundgarden were the product of four pretty unique musicians. Cornell's vocal range, for anyone not yet familiar with it, is absolutely huge, and he makes the full use of that dynamism here. There are great screams and falsettos (although not, god forbid, in anything even approaching an '80s hair metal kind of way) and a deft touch with lyrics. Matt Cameron is one of the best drummers alive and contributes subtle rhythmic shifts and percussive hints as well as the propulsion that moves the whole thing along. And Ben Shepherd delivers the rough edges with a low, flowing bass which offsets everything else just enough to breath a joyous momentum to proceedings.

Every track is stand out, from the punk tempos of 'Somewhere' and 'Drawing Flies' to the slow-building atmospheric riffs of 'Searching With My Good Eye Closed' and the full-blown rhythm/anthem fests of 'Outshined' and 'Jesus Christ Pose'. Comparisons to Led Zeppelin are, IMHO, a little misplaced. The crunch, the vocals, the moods, all are more reminiscent of Black Sabbath or, at a stretch, Black Sabbath channelling Led Zeppelin. Later Soundgarden mellows that sound more but this is a moment of controlled anger and energy, with licks, runs, and motifs that deliver as much warmth and crackle as aggression and misanthropy. A real classic to listen to again and again, to treasure forever.

Essential cuts: 'Outshined', 'Slaves and Bulldozers', 'Jesus Christ Pose', 'Somewhere', 'Room A Thousand Years Wide', 'Mind Riot' and 'Drawing Flies'.
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on 10 November 2013
I tend to avoid leaving reviews and comments unless I have something specific to say or really love a piece of music. This is the latter. One of the greatest rock sets of all time and the finest moment to come out of 'grunge' ('Nevermind' included). Nothing fancy about the artefact itself but the music is extraordinary. The slightly quirky playing/tunings of Thayil take the music slightly away from metal cliché, while Cornell impales your soul with some of the fiercest and darkest vocals recorded in rock.
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on 30 September 2013
This is nothing but pure rock/metal, they don't stop. Their are no mellow songs on this album.
These songs are perfect and you can listen to this album with out skipping a track.

Chris Cornell sets the bar for any future vocalist, with the power of Robert Plant, the range of Freddie Mercury and a stage presence as big as Michael Jackson. He's the complete package. Here are some key vocal moments courtesy of vocal expert Youtube Timi T.

>B4s on Rusty Cage, D5 and F5s on Slaves and Bulldozers, F#5s on holy water, a falsetto A5 on Face Pollution and my personal favorite the scream going from D5 up to G#5 on Jesus Christ Pose. Also there's an amazing scream at the start of New Damage.

Lyrically as well Chris does the bulk of the writing, some of his lyrics are freakin' incredible, Johnny Cash covered Rusty Cage on the strength of it's lyrics, In Outshined Chris invents a phrase which people have been saving for years 'I'm lookin California and feelin' Minnesota' Then theirs the Fiery lyrics of Jesus Christ Pose which contrary to popular belief is not about blaspheming it's about the fake christian ministers who feel they're better than you when they haven't done S***. Drawing Flies (My favorite Soundgarden song) is just amazing, heck I brush my teeth to this song the lyrics are outstanding.

Kim Thayil warped guitar walks a fine line between metal and psychedelic and it sounds damn good, Ben bass is played strapless and badass, catchy dark rhythms on every song. And I haven't even got words to describe how awesome Matt is drumming, he truly is one of the greatest drummers of the last generation.

All in all this is one of the greatest pure rock albums in all it's majesty begging to be listened to again and again, it get outshined by Superunknown, but personally I think this album is just as good or maybe even better, where there are a few more pop influenced songs or soft songs (Black Hole Sun, Fell on Black Days) on Superunknown but on Badmotorfinger the rock never stops and that's why it's just incredible.
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on 1 January 2013
This is sort of where it all came together for Soundgarden on one album for the first time. 'Louder Than Love' had some absolute gems like 'Hands All Over' and 'Big Dumb Sex' amongst others but Badmotorfinger feels like an album crafted front to back in some dirty Seattle back-alley with hookers, drugs and bourbon and it's just brilliant. It came out around the same time as Nevermind and Ten but, musically it's a lot more accomplished than either of those records and much, much dirtier. It has all the dropped beats and quirky time signatures that became trademark on Superunknown and some of the best riffs and undoubtably some of the most exceptional vocals I have heard on any record, ever. Cornell is never better than on this album and 'Slaves and Bulldozers' remains one the best tracks I have ever had the pleasure to see live. It doesn't suffer from any of the production dildo buffing Rick Parashar subjected the likes of 'Ten' to and has consequently aged very well as well. Classic must-have for any fan of rock music.
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on 13 March 2007
Quite why someone would have the gall not to give this the big 5 is beyond me. Grunge, metal, heavy rock? Who cares? A PHENOMENAL album. Still sounds as fresh today in 2007 as it did then. Cornell? What a F*****' voice. Born too late for the accolades he deserves. 5 stars above a 5 star rating. I have never known how to 'position' this album. Grunge? Erm, well shall we say Nirvana and SG are the same? Sound the same? Ultramega Ok and early Nirvana, well maybe. But this. This isn't some 'off the shelf' grunge effort. This is a cross-rock boundary effort of some greatness. Well, cross-rock when talking of stupid metal, grunge, hardcore, whatever bollocks. This is one of the greatest, guitar playin', undisputed singing, rock albums ever. Your 50/60 year old dad may not say so, but his 40 year old son says so. Chris, find me a better a singer and I'll eat my...
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