Gigaton - My review.
Once upon a time, back in the early days of the Seattle music explosion, there was angst, rage and a need to pick-upGigaton - My review.
Once upon a time, back in the early days of the Seattle music explosion, there was angst, rage and a need to pick-up distorted guitars tuned to ‘Drop D’ to make bold statements and social criticism of our daily affairs. That was then. The music landscape was certainly different with so many authentic acts like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam paving the road for Generation X, my generation, to feel represented and socially included.
Today, nearly 30 years later, Pearl Jam - one of the last pillars of Seattle’s ‘Big 4’ - are releasing ‘Gigaton’. The much anticipated Pearl Jam release, the band’s 11th studio album and first record in 7 years, hits the airwaves across the globe through streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Old school die-hard fans can also line-up at traditional record shops to pick-up the record in CD or vinyl.
Heavily supported by some clever digital marketing tactics like videos, digital billboards, moon scanning devices, and other snappy tricks, Pearl Jam come back with one of their most solid and incredibly relevant records to date. The energy is there, the sense or urgency is there, the musicianship, experimentation and lyricism are also on point. With all these elements on check, Gigaton does not disappoint. Quite the contrary. The music from the album engages and inspires listeners - living in times of acute environmental concern, political skepticism and social isolation - to soldier on.
Still relevant and fresh after so many years on the road, Pearl Jam could’ve easily just called it quits. Instead, they launched a behemoth album which features music that goes on unexpected new directions. ‘Dance of The Clairvoyants’, for example, is perhaps the most ‘unusual’ track to be featured on Pearl Jam’s catalogue. However, that is exactly what makes the song such a big hit. By unusual, I don’t mean bad. Experimentation is part of the band’s DNA. They opened a precedent with ‘No Code’ back in 1996. All is good here, and I am really grateful they took this (calculated) risk to expand their musical frontiers even further.
Are Pearl Jam a pillar of 90s music? No question about it. However, they are not bound to be restricted by lazy music genre labels, because they are bigger than any movement or fad. They are masters of their craft. How many bands in the history of rock n’ roll have had the resilience and competence to rock on for so many decades without breaking up or losing their appeal? Very few.
Songs like ‘Superblood Wolfmoon’ and ‘Quick Escape’ combine a groove and feel which we had not experienced with the same intensity in previous albums. Has anyone noticed the Led Zeppelin influence on ‘Quick Escape’?
The accoustic number ‘Comes then Goes’ is a magnificent track. It epitomises that sometimes less is more. In which case Vedder’s vocals accompanied by inspirational and heart-warming guitar chords is all that’s really needed to get such a beautiful message across. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album by far. It easily evokes the raw passion and authenticity of early 90s accoustic tracks like ‘Footsteps’ or ‘Hold on’. This track is so powerful.
Vedder and Company have genuinely earned their place in the annals of rock and roll. Cheers to a new decade and cheers to a group of human beings who have embellished our lives with so many great songs, energising concerts and now this classic record.
5 out of 5 stars.
By: Fernando Pimentel… Expand