With the release of Pearl Jam’s debut album, the so-called ”Seattle Sound” has become, for better or worse, institutionalized, a lumbering monolith waiting for the Next Big Thing to usurp it. Ten abounds with everything you’d expect from a band from this part of the country — mountain-high guitar riffing that tips its Northwestern hat to Led Zeppelin; misty, elliptical lyrics that only hint at their subject matter; the primordial wail of the wah-wah guitar; and the lugubrious, druggy ambience of a young hippie commune. While there’s nothing wrong with any of that, you’ve heard it all before on records by fellow Northwestern rockers like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and the defunct Mother Love Bone (some of whose members are in Pearl Jam). Like many of its Seattle cohorts, Pearl Jam also flail about in search of a groove and a song. Occasionally, as in the single ”Alive,” they find both. More often, they lose themselves in a sound that only goes to show that just about anything can be harnessed and packaged. B-

  • Movie
  • 94 minutes