Skin Yard Albums Ranked

Skin Yard was an American grunge band from Seattle, Washington, who were active from 1985 to 1992. The group never gained a mainstream audience but was an influence on several of their grunge contemporaries, including Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, and Green River. The band was formed in January 1985 by Daniel House and Jack Endino, who were subsequently joined by Ben McMillan and Matt Cameron. Skin Yard played its first official concert in June 1985, opening for the U-Men. In 1986, Skin Yard contributed two songs to the now-legendary Deep Six compilation. This album, in addition to featuring the first commercial recordings of The Melvins, Soundgarden, Malfunkshun, and Skin Yard, was the first to showcase the early grunge sound. That same year, Skin Yard released their self-titled debut album and their first single, “Bleed”. Here are all of Skin Yard’s albums ranked.

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6. Start At The Top (2001)

Skin Yard | Start At The Top Album Details

“The version he released on iTunes has better sound than the first issue and includes “In the Morning” (from the “Hallowed Ground” cassette) and early versions of “Out of the Attic” and “Through Nothing,” and trims the easily available Kiss cover and one cool track, “Make Room,” which you can hear on YouTube anyway. The second, digital issue is probably what you want. All the same, both versions are great — just listen to “Watch,” “Twelve Points,” “This Lonely Place” or the old version of “No Right.” I’m a huge Skin Yard fan, and I recommend starting with “1000 Smiling Knuckles” and listening backwards from there to get a feel for the band. This is collector stuff.”

5. Inside The Eye (1993)

Skin Yard | Inside The Eye Album Details

“This is both Skin Yard’s heaviest and most accessible album; it’s almost unrecognizable as the same band from their first record. This is a case where artistic growth doesn’t make the band suck – the songs are still just as powerful and original and it has an extra-heavy quality that the other albums don’t. One thing that strikes me is how much it sounds like Gruntruck, the lead singer’s other band. If you are a fan of Gruntruck, or Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, or any dark-sounding early grunge music for that matter, I highly recommend this – the songs are fantastic, the production is incredible (if you care about that sort of thing), and it is possibly the best music from a band that heavily inspired Alice in Chains’ sound.”

4. Hallowed Ground (1988)

Skin Yard – Hallowed Ground (1992, CD) - Discogs

“Classic Seattle group. If you haven’t heard of them just pick it up. It’s got the gritty type noise, not over produced. Just straight rockin’ In many ways, Skin Yard is the perfect representative everything that was absolutely wonderful about the pre-_Nevermind_, pre-hype Seattle scene. Jack Endino’s name comes up in a lot of discussions about Seattle’s scene and its elements; he produced most of the best-loved pieces of Sub Pop’s catalog and did time as a promoter, participant, and progenitor of the infrastructure that sustained bands like Mudhoney and the Gits.”

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3. 1000 Smiling Knuckles (1991)

Skin Yard - 1000 Smiling Knuckles | Références | Discogs

“This album’s sound is like a combination between the last two albums, Fist Sized Chunks and Hallowed Ground. It takes the unrelenting heaviness and grunginess of Fist Sized Chunks, and the psychedelic intensity of Hallowed Ground and mixes them perfectly, which is probably why this is usually considered their best album.”

2. Fist Sized Chunks (1990)

Fist Sized Chunks - Skin Yard | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic

“This was the last Skin Yard album I heard and the hardest to get into, mostly because of the production. I’ve heard this album gave the band a lot of problems because Jack Endino (the producer and guitarist) was experimenting with some other machine when they recorded it or something, but since Endino is an excellent producer it isn’t that bad – just not quite as accessible as the other Skin Yard albums. As a result it has their heaviest songs but the least abrasive production.”

1. Skin Yard (1987)

Skin Yard – Skin Yard (1986, White Translucent, Vinyl) - Discogs

“If you are a 90’s fan of music and especially of Matt Cameron’s drumming, then you will enjoy this. Skin Yard was more of an underground band, not as recognized as say Soundgarden/ Pearl Jam/ Alice In Chains. Style an influence none of the less.”