Pearl Jam have announced Dark Matter, their 12th album and the followup to 2020’s Gigaton. Guitarist Mike McCready promised an album that’s “a lot heavier than you’d expect” in an interview with Classic Rock last fall, and following the dancier vibes of Gigaton, Dark Matter‘s lead single and title track does indeed feel like a return to Pearl Jam’s classic ’90s grungy hard rock vibes. Check it out below. The album drops April 19 via Monkeywrench Records/Republic Records.
The album was produced by Andrew Watt, who’s recently worked with The Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osbourne, Post Malone, Miley Cyrus, and more. McCready also praised Watt in that same interview, saying, “When we were in the studio with him this past year, he really kicked our asses, got us focused and playing, song after song. It took a long time to make Gigaton, but this new one didn’t take long. Andrew was like: ‘You guys take forever to make records. Let’s do this, right now.’”
“Andrew pushed us to play as hard and melodic and thoughtful as we’ve done in a long time,” McCready continued. “I feel like Matt Cameron’s drumming has elements of what he did in Soundgarden.”
Gigaton closed a seven-year gap between albums, and it came out in March of 2020, just after the world had gone into lockdown. This one not only came together faster than that, but The Columbian reports that bassist Jeff Ament told the crowd at the album’s recent private listening party that they made it roughly a year ago and have been sitting on it since. Eddie Vedder said, “You all get together as a group as we’ve been doing for 30-plus years and you say, ‘Let’s try it again.’ No hyperbole, I think this is our best work.” At the event, Ament also praised Watt’s “encyclopedic” knowledge of Pearl Jam’s history, which he reportedly said goes even deeper than the band’s own memories.
Scared of Fear
Waiting for Stevie
Got to Give
Top photo from Sea.Hear.Now 2021 by Toby Tenebaum. More here.