You could be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled across the latest batch of...
Dan Tallis 2002
While the fact that Pearl Jam are still together fourteen years after the release of their seminal debut album Ten is remarkable enough, this, their eighth studio album, provides ample evidence that they still have a marked determination to continue preaching their message.
The record opens in angry style with Vedder snarling over furious guitars that don't relent until the end of the fifth track. You'd be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled across the latest batch of angst-fuelled, punk-loving teenagers rather than the Seattle grunge veterans. They rage against George Bush, the Iraq war and American apathy while guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready serve up aggressive rock solo after solo.
However the ballads that dominated previous albums are evident here too, though they sound unnervingly similar to Bruce Springsteen's acoustic work.
Their most accomplished album in years closes in epic style with the seven minute long "Inside Job" - proving the band care little about writing three minute pop songs these days.
Long may their crusade continue.