The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


United We Stand


By Todd Jolicouer

Having never been a fan of Pearl Jam, I was more than hesitant about listening to this disc. I grew up in an era when music, and the musicians, was larger than life and Pearl Jam was anything but. They were the epitome of "flannel rock." The lone connection, Stone Gossard, impressed me enough to give this one a whirl.


"Miles Of Rope" is a mellow rocker that leaves me still a little apprehensive about the disc I am listening to. It has a fusion sound that is unlike most rock out there today. "Bound In Time" kicks in and has a slight 70s rock (think CSNY) flavor to it, but the more I listen, it is falling into my like category. The musicianship is solid without being overbearing. "A Reason To Be In My Skin" is the first song that seems to be upbeat and sing-songy, but as the song kicks in, you realize there is a recurring theme here. This is mellow rock designed to entertain the senses without creating the need to get up and run around. "Diamond Blues" has the same fusion feel as the disc opener, but I think I just put my finger on this disc… this is "stoner rock" for the now generation. Don't get me wrong, the musicianship is great, especially Gossard's playing.


"The Only Way" slows the pace of the disc down a bit, but in a good way. The layered vocals and airy-dreamlike music adds to the charm of the track. "Last Bastion" chugs into being with a very driven guitar sound that, if accompanied by a heavier rhythm section, reminds me of a Black Sabbath song. That goes away once the chorus shows up, but it points out the diversity of this disc. "Make The Pain Go Away" takes a left turn compared with the other tracks here. This acoustic song doesn't do much for me and doesn't seem to add to the disc.


"Needle And Thread" brings everything back to center with its hypnotic guitar intro and light drum work. When the vocals kick in, I am reminded of the charm of most of the preceding songs here. "Tea Bag" is a rocker that sounds like a Garbage track. I can totally hear Shirley Manson overtop of the fuzzy guitars. This has to be one of my favorite tracks presented; too bad it is the shortest here. "Through The Day" is the most Pearl Jam-like song here. The singer even seems to borrow his style from the EV repertoire. It is a good song, but should have been held for Stone's next album by his other band.


All in all, not a waste of time, as I originally thought. Will I listen to the whole disc on a regular basis? Probably not, unless I throw it on for background music. Will I listen to the tracks I dig? Most certainly. Well done Brad… you made a believer out of a flannel hater. No small feat.



Review Published 14 April 2012