Soundgarden - Screaming Life
On October 1, 1987, the madness began……
In 1987 "Soundgarden" releases its first EP and we are first introduced to the wonderful quartet led by Chris Cornell.
The album was produced by Jack Endino who also produced some of "Nirvana" and "Mudhoney" albums.
This EP brings us together with a band that is still trying and experimenting, a band that is looking for the musical direction that will define it, but also a band that is starting to shape the initial sound of grunge.
We hear this sound already in the opening song "Hunted Down". It is this dirty and raw guitar sound that will accompany the band and more like it in the period when the first buds of what will later be called grunge began to sprout.
Here we must note that this guitar sound also reminds us of another band thousands of miles away from Seattle and whose roots are rooted in a completely different musical style. This band is called "Joy Division" and for some reason, the sound of Kim Thayil's guitar is very reminiscent of certain parts of that band.
In the song "Nothing to Say" Kim adjusts his guitar to a tone lower so that it sounds much heavier and darker. Thayil will use this trick further down the road and it will also be the band's familiar sound. Thayil learned this trick from guitarist Buzz Osborne of the "Melvins" who explained to him how "Black Sabbath" and Tony Iommi got to their heavy sound.
The song "Tears to Forget" was written by the band back in 1985 and appeared on a compilation album by Seattle bands called "Deep Six" and was released under the famous Sub Pop label, only there the song was recorded by drummer Scott Sundquist while the EP was re-recorded by drummer Matt Cameron.
The song "Hand of God" includes recordings of a Christian preacher from the 1950s. Producer Jack Endino found the recordings in old tapes he bought at the flea market. Cornell liked the idea of recording the song on top of the preacher's voice.
The only single released from this EP was "Hunted Down". This song also appeared on the Seattle KCMU radio collection's "Bands That Will Make Money". This recording will eventually be rolled out to A&M Records, which will also sign the band on a recording contract. And the rest is history...
Three years later, in May 1990, this EP was merged with the second EP released by the band and was called "Fopp" in a special release called "Screaming Life / Fopp".