Wan Santo Condo
Remember that euphoric morning after Chris Cornell left the garden of sound? During this brief interval, it seemed that Jeff Buckley, before he waved goodbye, had helped his new friend Cornell discover that being Louder Than Love was fine, but it's okay to be quiet every now and then, too. Cornell looked as though he'd become the consummate songwriter, tempering his own ferocity with some of Buckley's elegance and grace. Instead of continuing to evolve, however, he ended up selling his soul and became a slave to audio. And we were left only with what might have been. Fortunately, Wan Santo Condo has arrived with a debut that serves as an effigy. Except the Austin-based combo has one-upped Cornell and formed a holy trinity with Radiohead. What follows is ten expansive tracks that range from arena rock sendups to mid-tempo rockers that recall Bends-era Radiohead, with somber ballads in between to cleanse the palate. No doubt, Wan Santo Condo feels a little lived-in, but the view sure is nice from here.