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Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt gets out the traps with the middle-aged rocker’s equivalent of an Usain Bolt start. Riffs puff away furiously; drums hammer like pistons; Eddie Vedder hollers heartily.
The grunge veterans achieve full velocity on “Mind Your Manners”, a superb old-school punk rocker, but it leaves them shattered. Time to get the stools out for a recuperative big ballad, the meaty “Sirens”; then come brooding observations about death on the excellent “Pendulum” (oh, those aching limbs) and mystical classic-rock on “Yellow Moon”.
The results are less nimble than the real-life Lightning Bolt, but Pearl Jam’s 10th album is richly satisfying in its own right: the expression of a band in it for the long haul, not the sprint.