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"Been Away Too Long," the first official single from Soundgarden's new album, arrives on Thursday (September 27th) at radio stations, iTunes and other digital retailers. The song leaked briefly on Wednesday (September 26th), with some stations and websites streaming it until the band's label sent out cease-and-desist orders. But it got around enough to fire up fans on Twitter and message boards, with most proclaiming the hard-rocking track a return to form for Seattle's pioneering grunge act.
Banana1015.com called the track "a harder-hitting and true to form return of the most avant-garde group of the 1990s grunge scene," while Consequence Of Sound dubbed it "a fine modern rock track -- that is, if you enjoy it coming at you 700 mph and from Mars."
Singer Chris Cornell told us not long ago that Soundgarden's songwriting has always made the band unique: "It's made us a very eclectic band musically, and a band that's really hard to distill. We were never an easy band to mimic. There's a lot of bands influenced by us, but I don't think you could sit down and point to three or four bands over the history of the last 20 years that really just tried to cop what we did and then came out. 'Cause it wasn't possible."
The new Soundgarden album, King Animal, comes out on November 13th. It's the first all-new set of material from the reunited group since 1996's Down On The Upside.
Soundgarden reunited in 2010 after a 13-year break, releasing a retrospective collection called Telephantasm and a concert album titled Live On I-5.
The band's first new song since regrouping, "Live To Rise," was a rock radio hit in June when it was issued as the lead single from the soundtrack of the movie The Avengers.
Soundgarden has yet to announce tour plans in support of King Animal.