'The second album PISSED JEANS is sourced in the early-80s sludge of Flipper and Black Flag and the tightly wound treble-spray of late-80s/early-90s noise-rock bands like the Jesus Lizard.
Caveat emptor: I'm kind of obsessed with Pissed Jeans, this hardcore punk quartet from Allentown, Penn. It's the kind of obsession that bores your friends and alienates folks who casually ask, "So, heard any good records lately?" If those people do go on to check out the band, they tend to reply: "It just sounded like a lot of noise with some dude moaning/yelling about scrapbooking and Whole Foods."
And that's why it's great! Now signed to obscure boutique label Sub Pop and already on their second album, the brand new Hope For Men, Pissed Jeans' rock is sourced in the early-80s loose-booty sludge of Flipper and Black Flag, the tightly wound treble-spray of late-80s/early-90s noise-rock such as Drunks With Guns and the Jesus Lizard, and a maxed-out Paypal account's worth of hyper-obscure hardcore nobodies who put out one awesome 7" before permanently taking that job at Orange Julius. It's an ugly sound-- sometimes frenzied (the sawn-off boogie of closer "My Bad") and sometimes totally entropic (the glue-huffing feedback-dub bummer "Scrapbooking")-- that I can't get enough of. Unlike so much music in 2007, whether it's Justice or the Arcade Fire, Pissed Jeans doesn't want to inflate your sense of euphoria. They want to stub out enthusiasm like a cigarette on a forehead.
Plenty of folks who grew up with hardcore have since moved onto its noisier or artier or less-traditional cousins. (Or they've written it off entirely thanks to the Victory Records version where the multiple T-shirt designs are pretty cool and all the bands fucking suck.) Pissed Jeans singer Matt Korvette also runs the White Denim label, which has put out great, smartly packaged, and obtuse offerings by not-really-hardcore weirdos like Baltimore's tweaked circuit-benders Leprechaun Catering and English improv-rock druids Aufgehoben. And when Pissed Jeans want to, they can certainly delight in noise for noise's sake. Just listen to Hope for Men opener "People Person": The buzzing that swarms throughout the song like a B-movie's worth of giant locusts isn't even solid enough to pass for a riff. Those squeals and sobs are like rock music made by sadists who join a seal clubbing expedition because they like the sounds the seals make when clubbed. Hope for Men is generally a little slower and lower than Pissed Jeans' 2005 debut Shallow, like the three-minutes of drunken stumblebum riffs lurching back and forth on "Fantasy World" or bad-vibes whirlpool of "Secret Admirer". But "bash first and ask questions later" tracks like "A Bad Wind" and "Caught Licking Leather" are reminders of why your tense, agitated ass started listening to punk rock in the first place.' PITCHFORK
|A Bad Wind|
|I've Still Got You (Ice Cream)|
|I'm Turning Now|
|Caught Licking Leather|
Label: Sub Pop
Catalogue Number: SP 730