"Backspacer" album cover (Tom Tomorrow)

Rolling Stone has posted one of the first national reviews of Pearl Jam’s ninth studio album, “Backspacer,” due Sunday from the band’s own MonkeyWrench Records.

Produced by Brendan O’Brien, “Backspacer” is the Seattle band’s first independent release. Fans can buy it from Pearl Jam’s Ten Club, as well as independent music retailers and Target stores, the band’s mass retail partner, and online from iTunes and Rock Band. Internationally, the album is due Sept. 21 on Universal/Island Records.

Says band manager Kelly Curtis: “With the release of ‘Backspacer,’ Pearl Jam is making good on its longstanding desire to release its music on its own terms. Through a handful of collaborative partnerships, we were able to not only make the music accessible across multiple platforms for our fans, but were able to work with businesses supportive of our overall philosophies and philanthropic goals.”

Eddie Vedder wrote the lyrics for “Backspacer,” and Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready wrote the music. Political cartoonist Tom Tomorrow (This Modern World) created the album cover.

What fans will notice most about the album is that the songs are short and punky. It’s some of the most rocking music the band has created in years.

The group will kick off a short North American tour with shows Sept. 21 and 22 at KeyArena.

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