Along with the album tease, a few other King Animal details have slipped out. The first important detail is that the album’s first single, the tounge-in-cheek titled “Been Away Too Long,” will be released Sept. 27. Another important detail is that every member of the band contributed to the songwriting and lyric-writing process.
Also of note is that record was recorded at famed local studio Studio X with Adam Kaspar serving as producer. Kaspar is responsible for producing several excellent albums, including Queens of the Stone Age’s Songs For The Deaf, Foo Fighter’s There Is Nothing Left to Lose and One By One, Pearl Jam’s Riot Act and self-titled records and Soundgardens’ Live on I-5. One thing all of those albums have in common, aside from the fact that they are all great, is that the drums sound especially great on all of them so expect Matt Cameron’s kit to stand out on King Animal. The record was mixed by Joe Barresi, who has worked with L7, The Melvins, Bad Religion, QOTSA, Coheed and Cambria and several other notable bands.
I haven’t got my hands on an advance of the album yet, so instead of offering up some impressions on King Animal, I’m pasting the press release verbage of what the album sounds like. All indications are that this will be a great album, but please do be skeptical of the PR pitch as it is all just that, PR:
“Riotous album opener and first single “Been Away Too Long” finds Soundgarden back at it with a double-edged blast of homecoming celebration and urban angst. King Animal can be explosive, as in “Blood On The Valley Floor,” nightmarish (“Worse Dreams”) or wistful (“Halfway There”), leading us through changing sonic landscapes that can embrace both the jazz inflections of “Black Saturday” and the feral rocker “Attrition,” with compelling lyrics by bassist Ben Shepherd. The subject matter is broad – Kim Thayil’s lyrics for “Non-State Actor” are a sharp and cynical take on the powers behind political thrones, while Cornell’s bruised and introspective “Bones of Birds” explores the terrors and vulnerabilities of parenthood.”