Release Date: Feb 12, 2013
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
A great irony has been present for much of Sub Pop’s history: From Bleach to Bloom, the Seattle-based label has had pretty good luck both anticipating trends and taking advantage of new ones. This starts, of course, with bands like Nirvana and Mudhoney, neither of which had their most successful days on the imprint, but both of which can claim an incalculable amount of influence on rock music to germinate after their early-‘90s peaks. Today, more than two decades after the surfacing of the “Seattle sound,” signees like Fleet Foxes and Beach House are elongating and elaborating Sub Pop’s tradition of representing acts that, while not necessarily making a run at any kind of chart-domination, will make a dent in Billboard standings and pop up on late-night TV the weeks after dropping a new album.
Over the course of three increasingly refined full length albums, Pissed Jeans emerged as the foremost catalogers of the mundane, marrying their blistering, Touch And Go/Amphetamine Reptile-indebted noise rock to an increasing list of unorthodox lyrical topics. They're a venting outlet, a reliable source to turn to when looking for something that matches the internalized overdramatics held by those experiencing that which they yell about. On "False Jessii Pt.
If comedian Louis C.K. started a post-hardcore band, it would probably sound like Philadelphia’s Pissed Jeans. Their dependable fourth effort, Honeys, vents mature frustrations about Dilbert cubicle life and eventual irrelevance in the eyes of youth culture. The rhythm section is an impenetrable phalanx and frontman Matt Korvette’s unraveled vocals lend the oftentimes hilarious lyrics a fitting counterbalance.
If you're into Pissed Jeans' music because you relate to it, well, Matt Korvette is sorry it's come to this. Call it Commiseration Rock: Over the past decade, the Philly-via-Allentown band has occupied a very specific niche, making violent, shout-along sludge punk about situations that find men at their wimpiest and most impotent. In Pissed Jeans' songs, men (typically Korvette himself) go bald, can no longer shop happily at Whole Foods, take solace in ice cream, are beleaguered at work, and baffled by women.
For utmost enjoyment of Pissed Jeans's fourth album, have the lyric sheet on hand. That's the best (and sometimes only) way to catch Matt Korvette's brilliant - frustrated, terrified, disappointed, ashamed - observations about life as a 30-year-old white punk rock dude in America, all screamed and growled and seething. In Cafeteria Food, he imagines the glee he'd feel upon hearing of a certain co-worker's death.
Pissed Jeans are something of a strange proposition. The Pennsylvania band are, on the face of it, a bunch of nondescript straight laced regular guys who just happen to play in a rock band. What is not immediately clear though is that the rock band they play in is utterly deranged. Led by the furious ball of energy that is singer Matt Korvette, Pissed Jeans have navigated their way through three albums of intense and vicious punk rock carried though with wit and reckless abandon.
From “Bathroom Laughter,” the opening track of Pissed Jeans’ Honeys, it’s clear that frontman Matt Korvette is still fed up with the mundanities of life in the office. An insurance claims adjuster in Allentown, PA, Korvette parodies cubicle interactions with more authenticity than The Office or Office Space. Whether he’s “in the kitchen crying” or “in the hallway screaming,” to Korvette, the only proper response to life’s minutiae is to scream.
Matt Korvette sings like a neutered tom fucks, which is to say, not very well. If you’ve ever seen a gib mount another domesticated housecat, you know the sound: a low, guttural howl, pained confusion the only thing left to release. Pissed Jeans, now on their third record for Sub Pop, have long since mastered this kind of funny/not funny fuckery; Honeys, the newest album by the Allentown, PA post-hardcore act, sounds not at all unlike Hope For Men and King of Jeans, their previous two albums.
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that punk bands run their own quotidian lives when they’re not spewing vile about precisely how taxing everyday life can be. Being on stage is what makes them, in a way, immortal, and releasing that energy may very well be what keeps them alive. The natural course is that they’ll grow out of it the older they get.
As aggro as ever, Pissed Jeans return to express their supreme discontent with the mundane world on their fourth album, Honeys. Changing their sound a bit from their last effort, 2009's King of Jeans, the album has a roomier, more open sound, giving the album more of a snarling quality than its more guttural predecessor. Though the sonic palette may be tweaked a little, the band's sense of disdain and frustration toward the little things is still gloriously intact.
The brand of anger and frustration Pissed Jeans pours forth with in its thorny scuzz-rock tunes is deceptive in its focus. While 2007’s Hope for Men, the band’s breakout Sub Pop debut, vacillated between punk snarl and noise-making, underworld theatrics, 2009’s King of Jeans was a surgical onslaught of adult disillusionment—or, rather, disillusionment with adulthood—slicing through every hook, crashing with every purposed slam of a drum stick, gritted through singer Matt Korvette’s grinding teeth. It was an album that didn’t get as much attention as its predecessor—lost in the shuffle, perhaps, with our eyes now set on other volatile noisemakers like Fucked Up—but it was by all accounts a great leap forward for a band nopt content to stomp out its frustration in one place.
The only sweet thing about these extreme noise terrorists’ fourth record is its title. From the get-go, the quartet serves up a splendidly nauseating concoction of staticky overdriven guitars and vomited vox that owe some debt to hardcore, sludge and the harsh, gross-out, pigfuck sounds of the Jesus Lizard and Big Black. Although they’ve employed that recipe since their 2005 debut, Shallow, they’ve come into their own on Honeys, and frontman Matt Kosloff now has the perfect gut-rumbling backdrop to accompany his mordant screeds about his aversion to doctors (“Health Plan”), his laziness and unlikability (“Romanticize Me”), and feeling guilty and proud (“Male Gaze”).
Pennsylvania’s Pissed Jeans are a rare breed of hardcore punk band: Beneath the pummeling, distorted surface-level din of their music lies both sophistication and playfulness. That trend continues with Honeys, their fourth studio album—only now, their sound is more expansive and explosively weird. “Bathroom Laughter” opens with a delirious classic-punk rumble, Matt Korvette barking unintelligible venom like a raving auctioneer over his band’s violent whiplash of snare rolls and coiling power chords.
"I'm feeling like Jesus Christ our saviour" declares Matt Korvette at the conclusion of 'Cafeteria Food'. While not quite reenacting the epiphany, the song's three-and-a-half minutes of guttural subterfuge and venomous insults highlights Pissed Jeans at their finest. With the business as usual signage already lit up by the halfway mark, Honeys' existence is fully justified even with six more equally vindictive slices of visceral, filth-ridden punk rock to go.
Pissed Jeans' fourth album plays like the sound of a herd of buffalo charging from one end of a string of subway cars to another, and while they may slow their pace occasionally, cringing passengers know better than to climb down off their seats..
Imagine a funny Nirvana. Imagine, instead of the familiar image that floats slickly to mind of poor, doe-eyed, sad Kurt and his easily packageable suffering, a Nirvana who instead were celebrated for their wit, intelligence and goofiness; who understood that the abyss is all very well, but with enough will you can build a bridge across it made of knob gags. Pennsylvania four-piece Pissed Jeans don’t need to imagine it; they live that dream, to much more chucklesome effect than their damp and guilt-ridden namesake might suggest.
Whilst usually it’s a rule that repeating oneself is a musical crime on a par only with repeating things other people have already done, Pissed Jeans don’t come across as overly bothered with rules. Honeys, their fourth album (and third for Sub Pop), not only has them residing in pretty much the same sonic territory they did when they first emerged with Shallow in 2005, but also mining the same ground for inspiration – the likes of The Melvins, Black Flag and The Jesus Lizard (especially The Jesus Lizard). Despite the people they draw influence from being some of the most innovative in their field, Pissed Jeans’ music is anything but progressive.
A noise that blurs boundaries of ugly and beautiful in poleaxing style. Jimmy Martin 2013 The fairly unsavoury moniker of this band might strike many as the stuff of career suicide. Yet the very notion of music as a career was never an option for the mighty Pissed Jeans. This Pennsylvania band has at its heart a bizarre paradox.
Some artists inspire people to write in-depth ‘think pieces’. Some serve to make a point, politically or socially; some are zeitgeist-grabbing opportunists. Others purely want to have fun. And be loud.If the name hadn’t tipped you off, Pissed Jeans live comfortably as that last one, feet kicked up, chugging a cold one - and periodically yelling at the TV.
Pissed Jeans captures those moments after masturbation: messy, awkward, wondering what the hell you did to end up so alone. Over the course of three LPs, the Philly four have turned tantrums about ice cream and scrapbooking into noise-rock anthems with all the subtlety of a falling anvil. Honeys marks the band's sharpest, smartest work yet, hypermasculine yet self-defeating.
On their fourth studio album, Pissed Jeans are up to their old menacing ways. Honeys is packed with drudging, noisy guitars that toggle between rapid and slow grinds of pace but are always brutally loud and aggressive. It’s a sound not far removed from previous efforts and again finds singer Matt Korvette delivering sarcastic, angst-ridden lyrics mostly dealing with feelings of isolation and often lined with an odd sense of cockiness.