Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt by Pearl Jam begins with Gateway, a song with a swinging, classic rock ‘n’ roll guitar riff that introduces a record filled with entertaining, yet often relatively bland tracks and lyrics featuring generic, fatalistic rebel themes and songs about hot babes and so on. This is just fine; fully-fledged rock albums these days are few and far between. But for those expecting a real firecracker – with unforgettable rock anthems such as those penned by these guys in their glory days – may be disappointed.
Gateway is followed by Mind Your Manners, a decent cruncher with a sharp attention-drawing riff and a melody that alternates between the trademark Pearl Jam blend of 70s rock and grunge in the chorus and those intoxicating melodies that took you away in past albums such as the iconic Ten and follow-up Vs.
My Father’s Son is engaging, although the text about being next in line to a psychopathic father is much less original than the politically and socially involved Jeremy or the immortal Even Flow. A light country-groove characterises Let the Records Play, another strong track; the calmer, contemplative Yellow Moon is similarly effective. But apart from these, the other pieces pass you by without any major hooks that grab.
After more than 20 years, the legendary rivals of Nirvana might not have created another one for the record books, but this album should please those of us who remember and still groove to the last great moment in genuine rock music history.
Lightning Bolt was released on 15th October 2013. For further information or to order the album visit Pearl Jam’s website here.
Watch the video for Mind Your Manners here: