Come on Down

by: Green River

Green River was the mid-'80s supergroup that introduced members of both Mudhoney and Pearl Jam to the alternative world. Despite their Seattle pedigree, this album is exactly what you would expect from a pairing of the two groups. Mudhoney fans will probably not like the heavy metal dynamics of the group, while Pearl Jam fans might not appreciate the raspy voice of Mark Arm and the sleazy guitar work from Steve Turner. But in reality, it is a good album from a band that never quite gelled together. "Come on Down" might be the best song here; with its descending riff and Arm's passionate wails, it sounds like a distant cousin to Mudhoney's "Here Comes Sickness." "Swallow My Pride" would go on to be their "biggest" song, featured on a few compilations and covered by the Fastbacks. Oddly enough, the version found here is not that exciting, mostly because Arm just does not sound like he cares. Although this problem arises a few more times, the rest of the album is like a heavy metal version of Mudhoney, which is not really a bad thing. Bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard, both self-proclaimed Iron Maiden fans, wrote most of the riff-oriented music. Mark Arm keeps this from really going too far into metal territory with his Iggy-like screaming. But in the end, Green River is a worthwhile listen but not something that points towards the bright futures that its band members would enjoy. ~ Bradley Torreano

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