Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Pearl Jam 

Lost Dogs (Epic)

There are worse ways to end a long and fruitful career at a major record label than compiling 31 hard-to-find B-sides, outtakes, and other rarities. But it's hard to imagine Pearl Jam, whose decade-plus relationship with Epic Records ends with the release of this new double CD, choosing any of them. After all, since debuting in 1991 with the grunge watershed Ten, these hardy Seattleites have been celebrated variously as grassroots populists, hard-rock survivalists, and sort-of challengers to Ticketmaster's corporate live-music stranglehold. As the band decides where to go next -- possibly funding and distributing their own records, DIY-punk style, or striking different deals on different continents -- it's fitting that they give Best Buy shoppers access to material previously available only to record-collecting power brokers.

Especially since much of Lost Dogs is hardly worth any great pursuit. The unreleased "Hold On" is moan-and-drone PJ boilerplate, where a Wilson Phillips cover would've delighted; "Alive" B-side "Wash" is a jam-wank "Black"; "Dirty Frank" sadly apes the Red Hot Chili Peppers' anemic funk-rock.

But stuff like the 2000 outtake "Fatal" and the haunting seven-inch curio "Dead Man" (originally recorded for the soundtrack to Dead Man Walking) showcase the band's folk-punk side (as heard on last year's underappreciated Riot Act), and goofs like the surf cover "Gremmie Out of Control" counter the accepted notion that Eddie Vedder is incapable of laughter. And the hit cover to teen-melodrama oldie "Last Kiss" proves that even Pearl Jam can occasionally reach the mass audience for which it designed itself.

The result: Lost Dogs is an uneven flow of unearthed treasure and fool's gold.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Mikael Wood

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Jokes on You @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Last Sunday of every month
  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Louis C.K. @ Agora Theatre

    • Thu., Dec. 2

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation