Anyone looking for a host of heavy, Pearl Jam-style rockers on guitarist Stone Gossard's solo debut may be surprised by the stylistic range here.

Anyone looking for a host of heavy, Pearl Jam-style rockers on guitarist Stone Gossard's solo debut may be surprised by the stylistic range here. The handful of guitar-heavy cuts like "Unhand Me" and "Bore Me" take a backseat to more interesting fare, from the Neil Young-leaning title track to "Fend It Off" and "Every Family," which beam obtuse personal reflections through classic blues and soul melodies. As a singer, Gossard is still a bit green, yielding lead vocal duties to ex-Green Apple Quick Step frontman Ty Willman on three tunes. But he paints evocative tales musically and lyrically on "Anchors" and "Hellbent," which have more in common with the Beatles than Gossard's main musical outlet. Elsewhere, "Pigeon" (with its quizzical chorus of "I'm not through sleeping around") and the tropical "Cadillac" inject a little fun into the proceedings. A solid first effort, but of prime interest to Pearl Jam's devoted fanbase.—JC

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