3D Great Rock Bible
Green River iTunes Tracks Green River Official Website

Green River

+ {Mother Love Bone} + {Temple Of The Dog}

Widely held to be the first ever “grunge” act, GREEN RIVER’s distortion-heavy mash-up of punk and metal is best sampled on the `Dry As A Bone’ EP (1987), one of the first releases on Bruce Pavitt’s seminal Sub Pop imprint. Formed in Seattle, Washington in 1984 by vocalist Mark Arm and fellow guitarist Steve Turner (both ex-Mr. Epp), plus local boys Stone Gossard (guitar), Jeff Ament (bass) and Alex Vincent (drums), they’d already featured on a C/Z Records collection featuring the crop of pre-grunge acts before their inaugural release proper, `Come On Down’ emerged from the Homestead label.
Not enamoured by the band’s move into metallic rock, Turner bailed out only to join up with the equally grungy MUDHONEY, his replacement found in Bruce Fairweather; a 7” single, `Together We’ll Never’, featured DEAD BOYS’ `Ain’t Nothin’ To Do’ on the flipside. Enlisting SKIN YARD guitarist-cum-producer Jack Endino, the aforementioned `Dry As A Bone’ found its way out. From the get-go, tracks such as The STOOGES-like `This Town’ and the beefy `P.C.C.’ showcased their sludge-fest in contrasting tempos, the first speed-metal punk, the second sloth-like and almost monotone; ditto the Iggy-cloned `Unwind’.
1988’s REHAB DOLL {*6} mini-set was equally glam-grunge, featuring as it did eight shout-y, pouty cuts from `Forever Means’, their classic 3-minute `Swallow My Pride’ (er… ain’t nothin’ to do with ra-RAMONES) and a gloom-ballad `One More Stitch’. Fast-forward a few years and both EP-type records were combined (adding a re-vamp of BOWIE’s `Queen Bitch’) to whet the palette once again.
Following the band’s demise, Gossard, Ament and Fairweather recruited former MALFUNKSHUN vocalist Andrew Wood and sticksman Greg Gilmore to form the short-lived MOTHER LOVE BONE. Taking in conventional hard-rock inspirations from AEROSMITH, KISS and QUEEN, they quickly established themselves as a glam-metal act to be reckoned with; Polydor Records even afforded the star attractions their own subsidiary label Stardog for the release of their debut EP in 1989 entitled `Shine’. Funky metal was in order rather than grunge as Seattle’s most promising act bludgeoned their way through typical late-80s fare, `Mindshaker Meltdown’ and `Half Ass Monkey Boy’; `Chloe Dancer – Crown Of Thorns’ was a different kettle of fish, a rock ballad in emo-mode.
With an album in the can, and with pressures on him to get fully recovered from rehab, Wood never managed to break his heroin habit and overdosed on March 16, 1990, effectively bringing the band to an untimely end. The aforementioned APPLE (1990) {*8} was almost simultaneously released, a showcase for the Steven Tyler-styled vocals of the ill-fated frontman and speaker-busting songs such as `This Is Shangrila’ `Stardog Champion’ and `Captain Hi-Top’. It was within these 70s-influenced grooves that Ament and Gossard laid the musical foundations for what would later become PEARL JAM. The pairing also emerged with flying colours from a TEMPLE OF THE DOG (1990) {*7} tribute project for the deceased Wood, put together with the assistance of SOUNDGARDEN men Chris Cornell and Matt Cameron. The album itself was released without much fuss, only to spur some excitement in the early months of 1992 when grunge (with PEARL JAM and SOUNDGARDEN at its core) took hold. Bolstered by a duet single (`Hunger Strike’) that featured respective singers Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell, the US Top 5 gate-crasher featured fresh works by the latter songwriter, alongside his collaborations with Gossard on `Times Of Trouble’, `Four Walled World’ and `Pushin Forward Back’; the latter with Ament.
© MC Strong 1997… // rev-up MCS Aug2012

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