on May 4, 2019 | Last updated May 4, 2019
Release Type: User Audio Type: Single-track Reductions: Yes (Auto/CAT) Pitched Vocals: Yes Vocals Gender: Male (2)
Soundgarden redefined the metal-hard rock genre on their major-label debut, Loud Love, with the bruising mid-tempo album opener, "Ugly Truth." The band combines singer Chris Cornell's powerful howl with Black Sabbath riffs while maintaining a ragged punk energy that would eventually form a distinct branch of "grunge" then just emerging from the American Northwest.
The track opens with the precise chop of drummer Matt Cameron's lumbering groove, soon joined by the metallic spray of chunky guitar keeping a steady driving rhythm as the bass guitar anticipates the song's principal riff. Guitars and bass lock into dampened notes of the first verse, as Cornell sings with a restrained impish yowl, "You hide your eyes/But ugly truth just loves to get in the way/You gave yourself/If you were mine to give I might throw it away." The chords open up, holding resounding notes as Cornell powers up his impressively powerful vocal chords into full howl mode for the second half of the verse: "You share/But money can't give what the truth takes away/Throw it away!" Following an extended instrumental section, the riff shifts, guitarist Kim Thayil holding sustained notes, allowing the energy level to drop, Cornell singing in an electronically effected whisper, "I don't think I really understand you/And I can't see why I'd ever want to/And even if it isn't mine to say/I'll say it anyway/It's Ugly!" -- repeating the last line until it eventually grows into an elongated yelp. The track breaks down in a kind of false ending, the music coming to a halt as a wall of chiming guitars twist the tension higher, Cornell speak-singing the downer line, "If you were mine to give/I might throw it away." The band lashes back into the grinding groove for a final run-through before the track comes to a close.