ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 25, 1993
By Steve Newton
Although I became a fan of Pearl Jam the first time I heard its debut album, Ten, I must admit that I haven’t played that disc a lot since scoring a review copy back in ’91. Shortly after its release I saw the band play the Town Pump, and was thrilled by the live power of the groove-oriented songs, but they still weren’t the type of tunes I’d throw on at home to get a vibrant rock ’n’ roll buzz happening.
The band has decided to rock out a bit more this time, though, as can be heard on the opening track of Vs., “Go”. A three-minute riff-o-rama driven by head-snapping snare and sporting the wildest Pearl Jam guitar freakout ever, the song is a quick signal that the group hasn’t let the huge success of its major-label debut soften its gritty resolve to make a racket.
Fans of Pearl Jam’s slower material will dig singer Eddie Vedder’s languid evocations on tunes such as “Daughter”, “Dissident”, and “Rats”, and the plaid-shirted grunge fans should howl happily along to “Blood” and “Animals”, but in my books the hook-filled boogie of “Glorified G” and “Rearviewmirror” is what really make Vs. worth a dig into your purses.