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Audioslave, Out of Exile.

Words.

I think I have some left. At some point during my weekend, I ended up with a copy of Audioslave's new album, Out of Exile. It's actually more interesting than their first album was, in the fact that they sound like a band on this outing, rather than guys from two different albums as they did first time up. I saw them live last a couple of years ago, and they actually gelled real well on stage, much more so than the debut album suggested, and you can see that here. In addition, Cornell, either revitalised by being fresh out of drug rehab, or just not drunk, has written more passable lyrics this time, so at no stage do you have to listen to the equivalent of "I am the highway!" screamed out and try and ignore the fact that it's really, really kind of stupid. Of course, lyrics have never been Cornell's strong point, but the man can sing, and that takes him across the line by a long stretch... and really, with Audioslave, you're buying the beats and screams and rhythm, which is, outside Cornell's vocal side, supplied by the band that was once Rage Against the Machine. They've always played well, but on Out of Exile they don't sound like the band that was once Rage Against the Machine, but rather the band that is Audioslave.

It's a solid album. The kind of thing you can spin a couple of times in a row, no sweat. It's a slower album that the first, and I think it could have done with a few more stomping tracks, which caused me to vaguely dislike it on first spin, but it really does grow on you the second and third and fourth.

Comments

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future_conduit
May. 23rd, 2005 02:05 pm (UTC)
i didn't really like their first album that much either. like you said it sounded like 2 different groups. but i heard there were all sorts of legal issues involved with that album. something along the lines of: they recorded it and the record company just said "no. we own the rights and there is no way in hell anyone will ever buy this, so we might just file this in the round hole and save ourselves lots of effort." i beleive the band really had to compromise and change a lot of their debut release before the powers that be decided to give it the go-ahead.

looking forward to getting my grubby little ears on this latest one though.

have you heard Chris cornell's solo album? didn't think much on the first spin, but by the fifth i couldn't get enough of it.

apparently Cornell was planing some kind of side project with Jeff Buckley prior to his un-timely departure. i have a version of "spoon man" with buckly doing back-up vocals.

possibly my favourite song of all-time (i say all-time all the time however) is "hunger strike" by temple of the dog. eddie vedder doing lead vocals while chris cornell plays guitar and sings back-up. spine tingling stuff. i can only find a live version though. somehow it just doesn't quite live up to the album version that i so adored in high school. that could have to do with the "live version" or possibly the erosion of memory and the good old days being so much better than these days are.
benpeek
May. 23rd, 2005 10:41 pm (UTC)
i hadn't heard that about the first album. it might explain, however, some of those tracks that were sitting as b-sides on the singles. there's a really excellent song that goes 'we've got the whip, we've got a better bomb,' that i thought deserved album release, but didn't get it.

i do know that when i saw them play, however, there was no soundgarden or rage aginst the machine covers. probably wise considering they want to be seen as their own band, but reports of their live shows now say that's all done, and cornell is belting out killing in the name besides black hole sun.

i've heard the version of spoon man, too. didn't think much of it, but that might just be the dodgy version i have. (i didn't mind cornell's solo album, but it didn't grow on me like it did for you.)

i've never heard temple of the dog. i always meant to test it, just never got there.
future_conduit
May. 24th, 2005 03:12 am (UTC)
actually yeah, the version of spoon man i have isn't really that spectacular. you can't even really tell if it is Jeff buckly or not. it's a very "home" recording.

temple of the dog were like the culmination of all the bands from seattle in the early 90's. i'm not sure if it was before or after each band was established as an individual entity tho. it might have been before.
well worth checking out if, like me, you have a soft spot for this so called grunge music.
benpeek
May. 24th, 2005 07:37 am (UTC)
yeah, that's what i thought. you couldn't pick buckley--i just figured the track was mislabelled, myself.

i've been meaning to try out temple of the dog, since i do have that bit of a soft spot. did you ever heard the alice in chains/pearl jam band, mad season? they released one album and it's a bit mixed when it comes down to it, but the opening track is fantastic.
future_conduit
May. 24th, 2005 10:01 am (UTC)
yeah, i'm still not convinced there are any Jeff Buckly trademarks going on in that track. the second voice is possibly his. although it's loaded with bandpass distortion and is singing in the lower register. quite different to what Mr Buckly normaly does, so very hard to tell. i wonder if that's him playing the percussive bit that sounds like spoons on saucepans.

i did hear mad season back in the day, you know before the war and all that, but to be honest i can't really remeber how it sounded. i musn't have been blown away by it or else there would be tell-tale signs in my Cd rack.

actually saw Alice in Chains when they toured with suicidal tendencies. Alice was a bit of a let down. Lane Staley was so fucking pinned he couldn't keep in pitch and almost fell over a few times. thankfully Jerry cantrell kept it together and covered for him vocally.
benpeek
May. 24th, 2005 11:03 am (UTC)
that's hardly surprising about staley. his drug abuse problem really ruined a good singer and, sadly, and by all accounts, left he rather reclusive so that when he OD'd in his apartment, it took a week for anyone to find them. his body was identified by dental records, if i remember correctly. it's a shame, too, that his output was so patchy with the band--cantrell ends up picking up over half the album vocals half way through, and though they sounded similar, staley had more soul in it.

have you heard cantrell's solo stuff? i heard the first one. didn't like it at all.
future_conduit
May. 24th, 2005 12:59 pm (UTC)
i did give it a listen way back when. i din't like it much either. was much different than what i was expecting.
yeah, sad about staley. it's fuck up to think that he had the world at his finger tips, but chose to shrivel up like he did.
benpeek
May. 24th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)
guess that's addicts for you.

still, he left some good music, including one of the finest live albums, oddly enough, done for mtv.
dys7topia
May. 23rd, 2005 04:55 pm (UTC)
I very much liked Audioslave's first album, though the scritchy-scratchy guitar solos get irritating after a while. Still though, I thought there was plenty of meat to the record, and Chris Cornell's voice could make a Teletubbies soundtrack sound interesting.

I'm looking forward to Out of Exile too. I think Be Yourself is a great number.

I'm still pining for the days of Soundgarden though. Sigh.

Kealan
benpeek
May. 23rd, 2005 10:44 pm (UTC)
i never got into soundgarden much. i was really there for rage against the machine, however. i'm waiting to see what zach de la rocha's solo project is going to be like, if it ever gets released.

however, if you like be yourself, you'll certainly dig this album. as far as singles goes, it sets up what you can expect quite well, i think.
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