Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I have been waiting for a long time for this album! For years, I'd heard that Jeff Ament from Pearl Jam and Doug Pinnick from King's X were doing some sort of project together. Well, that project is Tres Mts and it's out now.  The band also features Fastbacks drummer Richard Stuverud (who also played with Jeff in the band Three Fish and on Jeff's solo album 2008's Tone).

I think the album was recorded at Jeff's place in Montana, and a lot of it sounds like it was created out of some pretty rockin' jams. At some point, they realized that the songs needed lyrics to become songs.  A lot of it has that "jammy" sound - not in a "jam band" way, but it sounds like they were just rocking out in the studio and hammered the jams into actual songs. Mike McCready plays a lot of lead guitar on the album - Doug Pinnick plays most of the guitar on the album, but he's mainly a (great) bass player.  When it was time for some face-melting solos, Jeff knew who to call!

What does it sound like? I guess a bit like if Doug sang for Pearl Jam. It's heavy rock, it's soul, it's psychedelic.  Not much of a punk rock influence, and no indie rock pretensions.

One song that stands out is "God Told Me." The context: King's X were a Christian band when they started out. Not like Christian metal, and they weren't playing revivals or anything, but they had a Christian message in their lyrics, and they didn't have a problem with discussing it. Years later, Doug came out as a gay man, and also as an agnostic, although on this song, he seems to have come to terms with God, if not with organized religion. It's pretty heavy.

Another great one: "She's My New Song," which reminds me a bit of Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly." I had the great privilege, the great pleasure, of filming the band when they were at the SiriusXM studios recently. It meant to world to me to film a band with members of two of my favorite groups, Pearl Jam and King's X.

I dig the album, it's pretty rockin'.  I'm not putting it on a level with King's X or Pearl Jam, but it is my favorite thing Jeff has done outside of Pearl Jam since Temple Of The Dog, and it's my favorite thing Doug has done outside of King's X.  I'd love to see a full-on show live (when they played NYC, I had tickets... and then realized my cousin Bat Mitzvah - in Ohio! - was that day, oops!), and I hope they do another album. I've been using the album to run to, and it works great.  But I've also listened to it while just hanging out in the house.  Watching them perform, you wouldn't have known that they hadn't played together too much, they were really tight and knocked out three songs in like ten minutes. They seemed to work so well together, and seemed to enjoy it, so hopefully we'll hear more from them in the future.

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