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Soundgarden (Refuse to) Act Their Age on Roaring ‘Non-State Actor’

Rock lifers stay hungry on latest 'King Animal' track

No one should ever confuse Soundgarden with Sonic Youth, but the former appear to have been drinking from a fountain of the latter. “Non-State Actor,” the latest song to surface (via Stereogum) from the heavy Seattle rockers’ first album in 16 years, King Animal, is a howling, riff-swallowing blitzkrieg that could almost be a relic from a time when there was no such thing as “post-grunge.” Of other Animal tracks out there so far, it’s closer to the lurching aggression of “Been Away for Too Long” than the spooky “Bones of Birds” or strummy Avengers blandthem “Live to Rise.” Though billed as a “lyric video,” the clip introducing “Non-State Actor” shows little more than a black-and-white flag, like OutKast’s Stankonia cover only with a King Animal insignia where the stars should be. “You are the tank and rockets / I am the bomb,” Chris Cornell bellows. Duck and cover.