Soundgarden have a heavy burden to carry as innovators and longest-lasting members of the Seattle scene. Thankfully, they have never taken the responsibility, or themselves, too seriously. And the results, over six albums, have always been worthy of investigation. Take 1994's multi-million selling, Superunknown, with its made-for-radio melodies infused with psychedelia and savage sonic slabs. For anyone who hadn't heard Led Zeppelin, these guys were gods. Black Hole Sun, Fell On Black Days and Spoonman sated the disaffected post-MTV youth, the punks and the riff-hungry metal heads. Down on the Upside is an altogether heavier beast. Opaque and more dense than its predecessor, it seems to go out of its way to avoid radio play-lists. No such luck. The first single, Pretty Noose, has already made its mark in the US and Burden In My Hand is sure to follow. Lyrically the same themes are in action - alienation and isolation wrapped in irony - with Chris Cornell's signature shriek completing the package. You tend to forgive their occasional drift into early-1970s spaciness or metal muscle-flexing as they have so much else to offer.