Though millions of people heard his influence on classic efforts by Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, and others, recorded during his stint as de facto in-house producer for Sub Pop Records, relatively few music fans are aware of Jack Endino's considerable skills as a guitarist and songwriter.
With a still-busy schedule as an in-demand studio guru, Endino took well over a decade to piece together his third solo effort. However, the monstrous, guitar-army sounds of Permanent Fatal Error are sure to please loyalists from his days with underground Seattle favorite Skin Yard. Densely layered instrumentals like the title track and "Van Allen Wrench" spotlight hairpin, stop-start rhythms and Endino's melodic corkscrew riffs. Even better, Endino shows off his nuanced sense of song dynamics and a solid singing voice on the majority of the album, bringing fire to the balls-out, metallic punk of "Elusive" and political outrage to the swirling psych lament "Strangelove." On Permanent Fatal Error fans will hear echoes of the vintage Seattle sound Endino helped sire. But the great songwriting and complete lack of filler here make a strong case that the man should be spending more time out from behind the boards with a guitar in his hands.