RNDM: Acts

Another month, another Pearl Jam side-project.

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Pearl Jam may be between albums, but their individual members apparently don’t know the meaning of the phrase ‘kicking back.’ The last couple of years have seen the market flooded with side-projects and other bands, from Brad to Walking Papers to Eddie Vedder’s ukelele-bothering solo album.

RNDM finds bassist Jeff Ament chucking his beanie hat in the ring. A collaboration with boho singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur and guitarist Richard Stuverad (himself a member of yet another Ament side-project, Three Fish), it strips away PJ’s latter-day urgency in favour of a darker, moodier approach.

The brooding Dark and beautifully muted optimism of New Tracks aside, Acts is too characterless to leave anything approaching a lasting imprint. Arthur is partly to blame – his bloodless voice is as substantial as cigarette smoke – but the bigger problem is the lack of truly memorable songs.

Proof, then, that not everything needs to be heard outside the rehearsal room.

Dave Everley

Dave Everley has been writing about and occasionally humming along to music since the early 90s. During that time, he has been Deputy Editor on Kerrang! and Classic Rock, Associate Editor on Q magazine and staff writer/tea boy on Raw, not necessarily in that order. He has written for Metal Hammer, Louder, Prog, the Observer, Select, Mojo, the Evening Standard and the totally legendary Ultrakill. He is still waiting for Billy Gibbons to send him a bottle of hot sauce he was promised several years ago.