AFTER 10 studio albums, 30 years of touring and an 2017 induction into the Rock'n'roll Hall of Fame you could be forgiven for thinking Pearl Jam had long passed extending their boundaries.
Certainly after the insipid Lightning Bolt in 2013 it seemed the Seattle grunge legends had exhausted their creative juices.
Thankfully, that's not the case. Gigaton is Pearl Jam's strongest record since their vitriolic 2006 self-titled effort and could possibly be their best since 1998's Yield.
Gigaton sees Pearl Jam dabbling in experimentation. Nothing crazy though. Eddie Vedder isn't rapping over a trap beat, but first single Dance Of The Clairvoyants sounds more Talking Heads than Seattle.
Alright is built around an electronic beat and atmospheric synths to allow the band to colour in the lines and Seven O'Clock combines Bruce Springsteen urgency with Pink Floyd grandeur.
The fast-paced punk rockers have been Pearl Jam's strongest suit over the past two decades and they continue to play to that strength.
Who Ever Said and Superblood Wolfmoon are a rabid one-two punch to kick off the album and Jeff Ament's bass is electrifying on Quick Escape.
Vedder's ballads Buckle Up and Come Then Goes are unfortunately no Nothingman or Off He Goes.
Given the current political climate and Pearl Jam's open support for the Democrats, it's no surprise US president Donald Trump and climate change colour the lyrics.
However, Vedder doesn't express the unbridled rage of World Wide Suicide, rather it's tempered by optimism and hope of change.
On Who Ever Said, he sings, "Who ever said it's all been said/ Get up on satisfaction." But it's offset by lines like "find a place Trump hadn't f--ked up yet," on Quick Escape and "the government thrives on discontent/ Proselytising and profitising as our will all but disappears" on River Cross.
Gigaton is no return to the glorious heights of the '90s when Pearl Jam delivered some of the most iconic sounds of Generation X with Even Flow, Jeremy and Betterman, but it's proof the five-piece aren't ready for the creative scrap heap of nostalgia. They're still alive.