New Pearl Jam Album Hits Rock Band Store Sept. 20


Good news Pearl Jam fans: Not only does the seminal grunge band have a new album only days away from hitting stores, it’s also coming to the Rock Band Music Store mere moments later.

Backspacer, the group’s ninth studio album, officially crawls onto the shelves at your local record store on Sunday, September 20. That same day, the album will materialize on the Xbox 360’s Rock Band Music Store.

Gamers who own the Wii and PlayStation 3 versions of the game will see Backspacer appear on their stores on Tuesday, September 22 and Thursday, September 24, respectively.

While I’ve got you all here, I want to make two points about this album release. First, this is great news for Pearl Jam fans. Thanks to an industry friend and my upcoming birthday, I was gifted a copy of this album more than a week ago. I’m listening to it right now and it’s not just good, it’s surprisingly great for a band who hit it big almost two decades ago.

Second, I think the experiment here should stand as the key difference in the gaming world’s blood feud du jour: the rhythm game wars.

On the one hand, you have developer Harmonix and publisher MTV Games striking a deal to bring an entire Pearl Jam album to their game’s already vast library as downloadable add-on content almost the same day the album hits store shelves. Smart move.

On the other you have publisher Activision and development house Neversoft cashing in on a simulated version of genius musician, generational icon and troubled suicide victim Kurt Cobain, much to the easily predicted scorn of the very audience the game is aimed directly at.

It’s almost not enough to say Rock Band wins this round. The period at the end of that sentence needs to be a Mortal Kombat-style fatality just to ingrain upon people how wildly one-sided the comparison really is.


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