Chris Cornell epitomized Seattle grunge; reviews: The Sun-Less Trio,Thigh Master…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm May 18, 2017

by Tim McMahan,

Chris Cornell

The death of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell is definitely on my mind.

Moreso than Cobain or Vedder, Cornell to me epitomized the Seattle grunge movement. While you could argue Kurt’s and Eddie’s voices were just as distinctive, Cornell’s was iconic, a strange, beautiful trapeze act of a voice that seemed to be daring himself and the audience to take an extra step… higher. Nirvana and Pearl Jam may have grabbed more headlines and more airplay; but Soundgarden was that flannel in the closet that you haven’t worn in too long.

At age 52, he was too young to die, but I have a feeling I’ll be saying that a lot over the coming years…

Of note, I asked a couple people in my office who are in their 20s if they knew who Cornell was. They’d never heard of him — a testimony to my years… or their lack of years, I suppose. It’s odd to talk to interns and discover they’ve never heard of Tom Jones or bands like Boston or ELO — acts that you just assume have permeated every facet of modern culture. One intern had never heard of U2. How is that possible?

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I put together a 1Q 2017 CD reviews collection for this month’s issue of The Reader, but it got pre-empted by my feature/interview with Tim Kasher. The reviews still exist in one form or another, so I thought I’d sprinkle them in blog posts (and occasionally at

The Sun-Less Trio, Spirit Jar/Spirit Glass (ANT Records) — Released on cassette and Bandcamp and destined to be overlooked, which is a shame because mastermind Mike Saklar and his supporting team has never sounded better, especially on the 8+minute Zeppelin-esque burner “Spirit Glass,” at the centerpiece of which is Saklar’s blistering electric guitar work. While his voice too often still sounds tentative, his guitar never does.

Thigh Master, “BBW” b/w “Park Road Clinical” (12XU) — Brisbane, Australia, jangle-indie sounds like early Pavement sung by, well, Aussies — drunk (and or drugged) Aussies at that, judging by the line: “It was just the drugs, slipping right through me.” Can’t wait for the long-player…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2017 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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