The ironically joyous moptop embracing the heavens was drawn by bassist Jeff Ament in 1991 for Pearl Jam's debut single "Alive." Along with Nirvana and nü-metal, Pearl Jam were heralds of one of the most violently boring decades in the history of mankind, and that includes the Plague years and the Dark Ages. An aesthetic apocalypse comparable to the effects of the atomic bomb on concepts like craftsmanship, style and grace, the whiny '90s were characterized by endless passive-aggression and hostile insularity; we're still feeling the effects of slackerdom that was in fact not the good Slack but in fact a pit of self-pity that tended to suck good elements down into its morass of ugly confusion with them like terminal cancer. Think of people you knew in the '90s. Aren't you glad they've changed? That may or may not have been a rhetorical question. Pearl Jam had precisely two good songs to their name: this, their first single, and the mystifyingly beautiful (considering) "Wishlist." Had they issued those two songs as sides A and B and promptly vanished, they would be unassailable as a pristine cultural artifact from a time of relative global peace and we would've all vomited at the prospect of a reunion and a second 7". As it is now, they carry on for no other reason than the fact that a cottage industry needs a roof over its head, too.
The Song of the Moment is "The Days of Swine and Roses" by My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult.