Soundgarden became big-time rock stars during the grunge era of the '90s, but by then they'd already been making big waves in the relatively small pond of the '80s Seattle music scene ... and we have the video footage to prove it.

This installment of Throwback Thursday (above) is a documentary of a band of young men who were standing on the brink of greatness. They were loud -- and they looked dirty most of the time. They wore poker-faces and spoke in sarcastic poetry.

Lead singer Chris Cornell derided any notion that he gave a crap about his sexual appeal to female fans with a masterful use of ironic detachment.

"Finally, I'm getting ... getting some of the rewards I've strived for," said the man who would go on to record the smash hit "Spoon Man." "All those years, lifting weights in front of the mirror ... and practicing, combing my hair, using a lot of conditioner."

The enigmatic and seemingly ubiquitous Jason Everman is there, too. You may remember Everman as the invisible second guitarist on Nirvana's first album, Bleach. He's credited as playing guitar, even though he did no such thing. He did, however, pay $606.17 to cover the cost of recording it, earning him the honorary title.

(Everman reappeared in the public eye when The New York Times profiled him in 2013. He spoke about his place in the Seattle music scene and his life afterward as an Army Ranger.)

As for Soundgarden, they seemed to do okay with Everman's replacement, Ben Shepherd.

And just in case you're feeling extra nostalgic, here's a commercial for the vinyl release of Screaming Life: