~ When the headlines trump the music ~
These guys are never going to get their due through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or critical fandom at large. But they really did change the sound of rock in the ’90s as they moved away from the heavily riff-based hard rock of LA in the ’80s in Seattle in the early ’90s and brought hard rock into a whole new era of heavily distorted but fully strummed chords in their rhythm guitar sections. The lead lines are there as melodic support to the vocals and not trying to showcase any sort of technical wizardry on the part of the guitarist. The rhythm section doesn’t get fancy but offers just enough twists to keep you paying attention, and the whole thing is wrapped up with an unmistakable voice over the top of it all.
It’s too bad the whole band had to self-destruct under personal foibles and tabloid magnifying glasses. for a while there, they were a lot more innovative than anyone gave them credit for because no one was paying attention to the music.