PEARL JAM ”Lightning Bolt”

$30.00 Inc GST

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The grunge generation is entering middle age, and while the commemorative 20-year anniversary releases are starting to appear, Pearl Jam are enjoying their third decade together with a renewed commitment that isn’t just invigorating but is remarkably free of nostalgia.
Lightning Bolt, the Seattle five-piece’s 10th studio album, doesn’t just articulate the band’s sound, it subtly furthers it.
Indestructibility has always been an element of rock’n’roll’s youthful appeal – more desperate than arrogant in Pearl Jam’s case – but on the deceptive Sirens vocalist Eddie Vedder makes accommodation with his mortality, passing on forthright apologies and pledges. His atonement is transported by the band’s muscular attack. With rhythm guitarist Stone Gossard as the lynchpin, Getaway and Mind Your Manners offer a stinging introduction.
But Lightning Bolt has a wider scope: the psychedelic-flecked grind of Infallible is a sharp take on the point where American exceptionalism becomes paranoia.
On Pearl Jam’s early albums Vedder’s psychological turmoil made for cathartic deliverance, but his outlook has widened. The singer has a measure of the contemplative grace Van Morrison attained, although there’s less spiritual wonder and more guitar riffs. ”I found my place and it’s all right,” Vedder declares on Getaway.

Most bands should be so lucky.