Pearl Jam: Lightning Bolt – Album Review
By Dom Lawson
Still flying the flag for independence of thought and movement while stoically avoiding getting bogged down in the music-biz bullshit that so plainly jars with their earnest motives, Pearl Jam have always been admirable, even when their music has fallen some way short of exciting.
Pleasingly, Lightning Bolt finds the Seattle quintet in a more bullish and spiky mood than usual, as exemplified by the furious, spittle-spraying punk rush of Mind Your Manners. On the similarly urgent My Father’s Son, they pull off the neat trick of sounding like Fugazi and UFO at the same time, as Eddie Vedder delivers one of his most intense performances to date.
There are still gentle moments here, of course: the plaintive shuffle of Sirens and the wonderfully fragile Pendulum striking the sweetest chords. Elsewhere, the title track nimbly evokes the surging spirit of Pearl Jam’s mid-90s creative zenith, replete with a euphoric frisson of Springsteen-esque bombast, while Let the Records Play lives up to its name with an infectious, blues-flecked groove. A few ponderous moments aside, this is a sturdy return to great form.
Published on Jul 11, 2013
Pearl Jam is back with their tenth studio album, Lightning Bolt, out October 15th, 2013. Pre-order the album here: http://smarturl.it/PJLightningBolt
With nine studio albums, hundreds of live performances, and hundreds of live concert bootleg releases, Pearl Jam continues to be a major force in rock and roll today. Subscribe to Pearl Jam’s YouTube channel for more music, live videos, and behind the scenes footage!