….at least in the case for Soundgarden, who made their music debut with “Screaming Life/FOPP” in 1987. Gosh, how long ago does that time seem? Long before Grunge-Music was established as the popular alternative-rock stuff that many different types of people love and could relate to. At the time, I’m sure Soundgarden (like most other artists starting out on their career path) had no idea where this little ditty would lead. As a longtime fan of the band, I can say with complete confidence that I’m glad this disc has landed in my hands! I enjoy every track enormously, but probably “Nothing To Say” and “Hunted Down” would classify as a tie between the title of ‘Favorite Album Track.’
On the surface, one could look at this album as an extended demo. The band clearly had a flair from the outset for producing great guitar/bass riffs and solos, plus phenomenally moving vocals. What I heard here not only shows the greatness that would follow in the years and albums ahead, but also stands there as a fine monument to a great piece of work on its own. All the tracks flow together nicely, and there is alot of time on each track for just instrumental jamming (which allows the listener to drift off into energized meditation). I like the fact that the lyrical content was not altogether deep, because truly the SOUND of Soundgarden is what makes them who they are. The band creates an almost water-color-painting feel of harmony with each tune they play. One may not understand the full lyrical meaning behind the action, but they will love the action itself as fun and uplifting. This album makes you want to run around and dance (perfect to play when exercising).
Surprisingly, I find myself enjoying it alot more than their other LPs (which is not to say the rest of the classic stuff doesn’t have staying power on its own, because it certainly does). For a “new” group on the Seattle music scene, Soundgarden sounds incredibly polished and gifted with their introduction EP. And what I admire the most is what they would later release is not that far removed from their beginning roots (that shows true artistic sensibility and truthfulness to the work).
I give “Screaming Life/FOPP” 5 stars easy and would raise the bar if I could. If you are a fan of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell or Audioslave or just heavy rock fans in general with powerhouse playing and singing, I would urge you to pick up this great item and add it your everyday listening life. One can hear the Black Sabbath/Led Zeppelin roots, but also 70s hard rock too (like Alice Cooper) in this disc. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed, and once the disc is done playing you will have a smile on your face and will gladly press the start button again …. ENJOY!!