Sunday, August 25, 2013

Video Of The Week: Pearl Jam

Here's another one that's grown on me, the lead-off single to Pearl Jam's forthcoming (and ridiculously titled) album Lightning Bolt. As is their habit, PJ made people aware of Mind Your Manners little by little: first through a 15-second clip, then 30 seconds, then audio-only, and now a full, half-animated video.

With verses and riffage reminiscent of Minor Threat and Dead Kennedys (and PJ's own Blood, as well as Spin The Black Circle and Comatose), the Seattle veterans go soft-hardcore punk, if such a thing even exists, but from the second listen on, they actually make it believable - and listenable.

Of course, the days when frontman Eddie Vedder's lyrics were almost like sung poetry (in the vein of Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison and Richard Desjardins) are far removed (which pretty much happened around 1998's Yield, when he started letting other band members write some), but there remains familiar enough reference points throughout to appease long-time fans as well as new ones, such as the ever-present visual theme of water as a force to be reckoned with.

I was hoping Vedder would take a cue from his pals from Queens Of The Stone Age and invite other songwriters and guest musicians on board for this record - perhaps the Queen leader himself, Josh Homme - after sub-par showings for the eponymous Avocado record and the uneven, great-at-the-time-but-I-grew-tired-of Backspacer, but this is showing some promise, at least on the catchiness and earworm level for now.

Like Nine Inch Nails' Came Back Hauted, it gets better at every listen, and can easily take my mind of Macklemore and Robin Thicke when they start getting embedded in my brain.

No comments: