Chris Cornell said in an interview that the lyrical target of "Rhinosaur" was ambiguous and could be applied to several people or groups. "Rhinosaur" was praised for having a massive groove with "stairstep guitar riffs" said to be adored by Soundgarden's guitarist Kim Thayil. Thayil also went on to saying that the tuning of the instruments was unusual for Soundgarden. He said during an interview "Ben and I played on dropped-D, but Chris played in standard tuning. That's unusual for us. If one of us is in dropped-D, usually all three of us are." The song also received moderate airplay by rock radio stations in America.