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Pearl Jam

Lightning Bolt | Republic

Lightning Bolt is Pearl Jam’s first album since Backspacer in 2009. Like its previous release, Lighting Bolt is much more energetic and less brooding than most of their oeuvre, as its title suggests. The entire album, given the length of its songs, its pronounced emphasis on percussion and bass, and the power chord driving sound of its guitars, is very reminiscent of the Ramones.

Lightning Bolt is a classic punk rock-influenced record to its core. Pearl Jam has been known to oscillate between hard rock anthems and power ballads, but until now their ability to write punk rock songs was in doubt.

This new punk rock aesthetic is reflected on the first three songs on the record: “Getaway,” “Mind your Manners,” and “My Father’s Son.” All of these songs display a tight drum- and bass-driven rhythm that is anchored by thundering guitar chords, with Eddie Vedder screaming at the top of his lungs, singing lines like, “We are all searching for a better way.”

In the past, if Vedder had uttered such words, they would have been sung in a more haunting tone. It’s clear when listening to Lightning Bolt that the angst of Pearl Jam’s youth is gone. It will be interesting to see how they pull it off live.

—Jesse Mellott

 Arts_CDReview_KilltheHook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random Recipe

Kill the Hook | Bonsound

When Montreal’s Random Recipe released their debut album, Fold It! Mold It! in 2010, their first single “Shipwreck” absolutely blew up on campus and community radio stations. The four-piece group rolled up their energetic blend of hip-hop, electronica, and female-fronted raps and hit the road, landing gigs all across this continent and Europe.

Kill the Hook sees the band return with a winning formula similar to their first album. The album’s strength lies in the fact that there are several singles here that can draw the listener in and keep them captive over the 12-track ride.

The album opens up with the slow and entrancing song “Pen and Ink,” then builds to one of my favourite tracks “Big Girl,” the first single.  There is a constant ebb and flow to the rest of the album until it closes with another personal favourite, “Suave.”

For those digging the most recent CSS release Planta, or Groenland’s The Chase, you will find much to like with this indie Canadian release.

—Kevin Gascoigne