Gruntruck Makes A Run At Spotlight With Re-Release

Gruntruck is the latest local band aiming for national prominence. Its debut album, "Inside Yours," was re-released earlier this week on Roadrunner Records, after originally being put out in 1990 by the local label eMpTy. It's not another grunge record, but rather a hard-rock effort that's a little punk around the edges. The band has great pedigrees. It includes lead singer Ben McMillan, formerly of Skin Yard, and guitarist Tom Niemeyer, most recently of splatter kings the Accused. The group, which also includes bassist Tim Paul and drummer Norman Scott, has a strong, savage attack and some well-crafted tunes that are mainstream enough to get widespread radio airplay. Gruntruck opens for Pearl Jam tonight at the Moore and headlines RKCNDY next Friday.

-- Pearl Jam is giving the hometown audience a chance to see the show that has already been seen around the country, when the band toured with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and did some solo gigs in such notable venues as CBGB's in New York. The boys should be in top form, thanks to the touring experience, and the excitement of playing a local gig. Reports from a show the band did two weeks ago at RKCNDY - arranged at the last minute after the Red Hot Chili Peppers canceled an Arena show because of illness - indicate that lead singer Eddie Vedder is feeling his oats, and that the guitar interplay between Stone Gossard and Mike McCready is sharper than ever. But don't mention the success of Nirvana to the band - there's a feud a-brewin' as a result of Kurt Cobain's put-down of the band in Musician magazine. He says Pearl Jam is a mainstream group that's being promoted as an alternative band. "They're going to be the ones responsible for this corporate, alternative . . . fusion," he's quoted as saying. But the worst cut of all is that he compares Pearl Jam to Poison! Them's fightin' words.

-- Jimi Hendrix is on the cover of Rolling Stone, in honor of his being inducted earlier this week into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The cover headline calls him - as if everybody didn't already know - "The Greatest Guitarist of All Time." The story, by David Fricke, is a loving tribute that covers all the highlights of his short, fantastic career. Much more revealing is a companion piece dealing with Hendrix after his death, including the fates of his former band members in the Experience, and questions about who is getting all the money his recordings still generate. The people taking care of Jimi's business when he was alive were pretty shady, and it turns out that things haven't changed all that much, according to Rolling Stone. The intricacies of Hendrix's business 21 years after his death are troubling but fascinating. And not even Rolling Stone is able to solve all the mysteries.

-- Ned's Atomic Dustbin, the band playing Tuesday at Oz, is the latest big noise from England, a young, fun-loving, dance-oriented band in the vein of EMF, the Farm, Jesus Jones and the Wonder Stuff. The energetic quintet recently released its first American album on Columbia Records, "God Fodder," which includes the wonderfully irreverent and sarcastic "Kill Your Television" and the lively, likable "Grey Cell Green," which is built around a save-the-earth theme. The video for the song, which is splashed in bright colors, from the T-shirts on the band members to the instruments, the floor and the backdrop, is one of the hottest new clips on MTV. T-shirts are the band's calling card. It has produced some 60 original designs, some of which have become collector's items. A limited number of "God Fodder" albums were packaged with a free T-shirt, including some distributed to Seattle stores. The band, named after a TV sketch on England's old "Goon Show," is a sensation in England, but that doesn't always translate to Stateside success. But the show should be a kick. It starts at 8 p.m. and the ticket price, which is tied to a radio promotion, is $10.77.

-- A clarification on an item in last week's WORD about Andrew Wood: The album set to be released later this year was recorded by Andrew himself prior to his death in 1990 from a heroin overdose, not by a band called Cool Marmalade. Cool Marmalade is the name of the company putting out the album, which comes from a title of one of Andrew's songs.

-- Good news for Earshot Jazz. The local organization dedicated to boosting jazz in the Northwest has been awarded $33,000 by the Lila Wallace-Readers Digest National Jazz Network, which provides financial and technical assistance to jazz nationwide. The grant will support Earshot's jazz programming through May 1993. Earshot, a nonprofit organization, publishes a monthly newsletter and sponsors an ambitious series of concerts, workshops and other activities. It will present its second annual Golden Ear Awards Sunday at the New Orleans Restaurant, from 5 to 10 p.m. Music will be provided by the Chuck Metcalf Quartet and Jessica Williams, and Jim Wilke will emcee. Tickets are $10, $5 for musicians.