May 23, 2005

Out of Exile

If you have listened to their self titled debut album, Audioslave's Out of Exile is, well, very Audioslavish. It is droneful, explosive in fits and starts, moody and is an exceptionally refreshing change by means of alternative rock (does that still exist?) in the sphere of commercial music.

The band, which was formed from the leftovers of Rage Against The Machine and fronted by ex Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell, still manages to bring out bits of the best of both worlds -- Soundgarden and Rage Against The Machine -- in a single package.

On its own, the album is nothing great and the backbone of the music is kind of going nowhere, neither quite Soundgardenish, nor does it pack the punch and the rawness or edginess of RATM. Moreover, it does not take anywhere the sound that the band put down with the first record.

Now, to a couple of the tracks.

'Our of Exile' is a rocker of a track and for those people who dismiss electronica and gadgetry check out the outro of the song, you can hear a low pass filter+reso being applied to the drum track there.

'Be Yourself' has a wah wah drenched solo which starts off quite a bit like the vintage "I was made for loving you baby" track.

'Doesn't remind me of anything,' starts slow and melodic, explodes, only come back to the playful melody again and towards the middle it loses its way.

'Heaven's dead' is classic Cornell and a throwback to the latter half (post Badmotorfinger days) of Soundgarden's career.

'The worm' has the maestro Morello and the guitar gang going on a paranoidesque trip in the Sabbath vein. Listen carefully and you can hear even more familiar riffs. Nothing too great actually.

All in all, it is great to hear stuff by some veterans again than stuff put out by yet-to-grow-up kids with a half penny melody going gold with a great deal of luck and money behind them, but otherwise it is quite a disappointment.

Needless to say, I am biased, I miss the crazy stuff that Kim Thayil used to play and Zack's vocals. Put Morello and Cornell together and it is obvious that both can't shine at the same time or complement each other like Zack and Morello used to do. And yes, I do miss Matt Cameron too.

The album, in its entirety, is available for listening at Audioslave's page at Myspace.