ATN Single Of The Moment: Pearl Jam's Merkin Ball

Just wetting our appetite.

Addicted To Noise editor Michael Goldberg reports: This

two song CD single whose cover artwork and title is a tongue-in-cheek tribute

to the Neil Young/Pearl Jam Mirror Ball album, is simply brilliant. From

Eddie Vedder's hoarse mumbled introductory lines to the euphoric

wall-of-guitars courtesy of Neil Young and (?!) Vedder himself, these two

tracks--"I Got Id," and "Long Road"--can stand with anything Pearl Jam has

recorded to date. Pearl Jam's normal guitarists--Stone Gossard and Mike

McCready--don't play on either recording, and hate to say it but they're not

missed. The crackling lead guitar work of Young is inventive as ever. Vedder

brings a different kind of intensity to the party that is typically found on a

Neil Young song, while Young brings a primal essence to the music that is,

simply deeper, than the young 'uns in Pearl Jam proper can deliver without

him--at least for now. While "I Got Id" is a burst of flame, "Long Road" is a

hypnotic ballad that simmers before the rumble of guitars come crashing in.

Hey, Pearl Jam are gonna be around for a long, long time. And based on this

past year, they are not planning to let things get boring. For now, this is the