The best part of “Modern Times”—the latest single from RNDM, whose bassist is none other than Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament—is the video. I urge you to watch it on YouTube immediately. It features Ament and drummer Richard Stuverud skateboarding/biking to band practice, where they are first made to cut their hair and then don an array of brightly-colored outfits. “Modern times are coming after us,” Joseph Arthur sings, as Ament’s sunglasses and Stuverud’s porkpie hat are cast off in favor of neon sneakers and animal-face ski masks.
The joke, of course, is that these men were forced into the appearance-driven world of pop rock 20 years ago. Modern times literally comes after them. Whether you think Ament, et al, look ridiculous riding around on skateboards probably correlates with what you think of “Modern Times.” If you consider that a best-case scenario for a man in his 40s, you’ll probably also enjoy RNDM’s swirling, minor-key guitar riffs and busy bass. Otherwise, you might hear the tense formlessness that afflicted Pearl Jam. Everything old is new again, and it’s as grumpy about nowadays as it was the first time.
RNDM plays the Badlander Halloween night, Wed., Oct. 31, with the Boxcutters (covering The Black Keys and The White Stripes) and Möther, a Danzig tribute band featuring members of Total Combined Weight, Tidal Horn and The Cold Hard Cash Show. $10.