PEARL JAM -- No Code (Epic)

Pearl Jam's newest release should be titled No Good. The band's fourth album never quite amounts to anything. They try out a few new ideas here and there, but they never fully explore them. The first single, "Who You Are" drones on and on over three or four notes. It almost makes you yearn for Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to come in for a change of vocal inflection. Well, almost. Eddie 'can't find a melody' Vedder grunts his way though "Lukin". Luckily, the song's not much more than a minute long."Present Tense" is the best song on the CD. Aside from that, it sucks. Interesting packaging on the vinyl, but the CD version is too small to appreciate.

© 1996 Steve Marshall