Adam 12

11am - 4pm

HOLLYWOOD - SEPTEMBER 27: Musician Kim Thayil of Soundgarden performs onstage during the "Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock" launch at Paramount Studios on September 27, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Activision)

Happy Birthday to my fave guitarist from the Grunge era, Kim Thayil of Soundgarden. Let’s celebrate by listening to him shred.


I’ll start with a track from my favorite Soundgarden album, 1991’s Badmotorfinger. Thayil’s solo work over the closing of “Drawing Flies” illustrates the title of the track: he sounds like a buzzing black swarm as the song fades out.


I can’t stress this enough: Soundgarden always was and always will be a metal band; tags like grunge and alternative don’t cancel that out. Which makes their commercial success that much more impressive. Their best-known, most mainstream song–“Black Hole Sun”–is the band at their most accessible. Yet you still get a facemelting solo from Thayil to remind you what Soundgarden is all about.


Speaking of Thayil’s metal chops, they’re not all for shredding. Dude can get melodic, too. Let’s round out the trio with an excellent example, “Get On The Snake” from 1989’s Louder Than Love, which to my ears is just a prolonged Kim Thayil solo riff punctuated with actual pieces of song. Rock.