Monkeywrench Records 
Fire Note Says: RNDM is AWSM!
RNDM (pronounced random) is a new band featuring Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur and former Fastbacks drummer Richard Stuverud. If you think that sounds AWSM, well then this is the record for you!
I wasn’t sure what to expect with Acts, I laughed when it was given to me to review, but I figured between Ament and Arthur, they wouldn’t release something that was flat out terrible, they would keep it in the vaults never to be thought of again, so the fact that they are putting the record out and touring, it tells me that they are confident that it’s pretty good. Going in, I didn’t know much about Joseph Arthur, other than he used to be on Peter Gabriel’s record label, and I read a pretty good piece on him in Magnet once about 10 years ago. I can’t speak much on his solo work, but I can tell you the rock grooves that Ament and Stuverud lay down for him really seem to work in his favor. The music has a little of that mid-period Pearl Jam feel, think No Code , as it darts in and out rather than lumbering along. It has shades to it, rather than just being one rock thing.
The album opens with lead single, “Modern Times”, and it’s a good one. A solid rocker built on an Ament bass line and a rock solid beat from Stuverud. When Arthur comes in, he sounds like a cross between Vedder and Bono. “Darkness” is the highlight of the album; it builds and builds until Arthur releases the tension with a powerhouse chorus. The album is a nice mix of rockers and slower tempo numbers, Arthur shines on the slower songs and the band supplements him well, but they really shine when they play straight indie pop like they do on” Letting Go of Will”.
There are some duff tracks here, just like on any supergroup album, but 9 out of the 12 songs are solid, and that’s a pretty darn good ratio, and a lot better than most people expect I would imagine.
Key Tracks: “Letting Go of Will”, “Modern Times”, “Darkness”
Bands With Similar Fire:
-Reviewed by Kevin Poindexter