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Album review: Pearl Jam, Lightning Bolt (Monkeywrench/Republic)


Four years on from their last outing and nearly 25 years after forming in Seattle, the grunge survivors deliver their 10th album – and it is a work of contrasts. Openers “Getaway” and “Mind Your Manners” are gutsy, full-blooded blasts, but these soon give way to several soft, contemplative ballads.

The plaintive “Sirens” will divide fans; and, for many, Eddie Vedder’s musings on life in “Future Days” will come uncomfortably close to the sentimental. But the likes of “My Father’s Son” and “Swallowed Whole” are potent reminders that no one nails “classic rock” better than these guys.

An intriguing mix overall and further proof that Pearl Jam play by their own rules – a fact that real fans would never want to change.