Archive for Backspacer

Punk Takes The Top Slot

Posted in Music with tags , on October 13, 2009 by johnbuckley100

It’s been a long time since there was a punk record atop o’ the pops.  Maybe it’s been 18 years.  Oh, I know, Green Day’s an alleged punk band and they’ve had some hits. But Green Day’s a Top 40 band with a three-chord wind up. It actually took Pearl Jam’s Backspacer to do what hasn’t been done since cross-town rivals Nirvana got there almost a generation ago: get punk played according to the loudfast rules at the apex of the Billboard.  Surely “The Fixer” is the best and hardest-rocking song to promote an album on a national television ad since, ok, “Vertigo.”  And while some of the album sounds like it could have been made by Cracker — I’m serious, listen to “Got Some,” which even has a title like it’s a Cracker song — it would take a hard heart not to appreciate how much fun Eddie and the boys appear to be having on this one.  There have been comparisons to R.E.M.’s Accelerate — an abbreviated set that sounds like the studio walls probably collapsed from the sheer sonic propulsion — but Pearl Jam not only kicks harder, unlike R.E.M., this band was actually constructed to play punk rock (those early two-by-fours whacking us across the head with earnestness notwithstanding.)  They’ve always had a Ramones underbelly, sometimes hidden, sometimes scratched, but who knew they had a Dave Edmunds thing going on, too (“Supersonic.”) It’s always good to hear punk rock excellently made, and that the kids seem to like it augurs well for Western Civ.

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