It’s the nostalgia, the familiarity, and sometimes just hearing one of your current favorite bands rip through a classic perfectly that brings a smile to your face on a covers record. And that’s just the kind of feels Magnetic Eye Records has conjured on their companion record to Superunknown (Redux), Best Of Soundgarden (Redux). It’s almost like Soundgarden’s jams were made for the Desert Rawk/Doom crowd and regardless of the group gathered here covering these, that fact alone is kind of a revelation unto itself if, like us, you grew up with the Grunge icons.
But I digress.
The ONLY bummer on this compilation of 15 kickass covers is that no one was brave enough to take on “Heretic”! However, Mirakler’s bass-driven Prog meets ’90’s Post-Hardcore bordering on Industrial version of “Birth Ritual” (Our other favorite B-side/non-album/soundtrack song) owns so all is not lost! And for the rest of you SG fans, this new addition to MER’s Redux series has you, ahem, covered! There’s the “hits” like “Rusty Cage” (Witch Ripper does a fantabulous job opening this ditty up into new territories), “Burden In My Hand” (As redone by the phenomenal Miss Lava with a newfound heft), and “Outshined” (By Mallorca’s Milana) here along with iconic numbers like “Loud Love” and “Hands All Over” (Rolled out in Rawkin’ succession by Freedom Hawk and Heavy Temple respectively) to quench your Soundgarden thirst.
For those who’ve scratched beyond the surface of those radio tracks, High Desert Queen’s “Slaves And Bulldozers” is an even bigger slow burn taking a relaxing two minutes to get into the bones of it all and from there it’s all out RAWK with huge crunchy guitars, scorching solos, and vocals that are a fitting tribute to Chris Cornell. Spotlights is back again following up their version of “Black Hole Sun” on the Superunknown (Redux) (Read our review here) with an epic interpretation of “Jesus Christ Pose” and Dendrites give new life to one of Down On The Upside‘s missed gems “Tighter And Tighter” (The second half of that record is an underrated delight) with some sweet vocal harmonies, a little twang, and a whole lotta bluesy bombast.
Elsewhere, Sun Crow drops a haunting rendition of B-side “Toy Box”, Swamp Coffin turnss “Nothing To Say” into a blistering Metal breakdown that has more in common with Killswitch Engage than “Kyle Petty Son Of Richard”, Josiah takes “Applebite” into a trippy direction, and “Searching With my Good Eye Closed” as done by Lamassu is particularly more anthemic and epic. Blue Heron tackles the maybe lesser known Louder Than Love track “Uncovered” and gives it a shreddy sheen as Jadd Schickler’s raspy croon gives a new breath to the song and later still, Restless Spirit’s particularly fuzzed out rendition of “Room A Thousand Years Wide” is the perfect chugging beastie to serve as a coda to this grand collection.
Best Of Soundgarden (Redux) is out on July 14th through Magnetic Eye Records and can be pre-saved and pre-ordered now by heading here. For more from Magnetic Eye Records, follow their trail of socials by heading here, here, or here.