Pearl Jam

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 March, 1998, 12:00am

Pearl Jam - Yield (Epic) Few and very far between are albums which do not put a note wrong, which cruise from first track to last with a smug grin, their makers knowing there is no musical crime they can be critically savaged for.

All those silly awards - Brits, Grammys, Whammys, whatever - should be dished out now because this is the sort of record that becomes permanently wedded to the turntable the moment the 'play' button is hit.

Yield is honed, distilled grunge, and probably what every Seattle-scene band, including Nirvana, always aspired to: high-octane melody giving ground to blunt power, but never at the expense of structure or exemplary song-writing.

Early darlings of the grunge days, Pearl Jam were just about the biggest act on the planet a few years ago. Then a skirmish with Kurt Cobain, followed by a war with a United States ticket agency the band felt was scalping fans, meant appearances at smaller venues and relative obscurity.

But suffering for their beliefs has had no adverse effect on their music. This is a seamless, searing and emotionally raw record with no daylight between the grooves.

Pearl Jam's accomplished debut was called Ten, probably because it scored 10 out of 10. But this goes up to 11.