on 25 February 2013
Ever since Sub Pop snagged the snarling METZ debut last year a popular tagline has been doing the rounds that they were the first band that sounded truly at home on the iconic label for some time. Pity then the forgotten majesty of Pennsylvania four-piece Pissed Jeans, who have been turning in tailor-made hardcore sludge for what is approaching a decade. Honeys is now their third long-player for Sub Pop and fourth overall, and from the off it's clear that time is no healer when it comes to the band's raw noise.
Yet, despite the white-knuckle pace of "Bathroom Laughter", its tortured bass and Matt "Korvette" Kosloff`s G-force gargle, Pissed Jeans are a band heading in two directions at once whilst retaining their nauseous core all the same. The paranoid "Chain Worker", for example, though still channelling the teeth-clenched spirit of Big Black and Jesus Lizard, markedly reduces its pace to an evil and creepy prowl. "Cafeteria Food" too is a real drudge with an almost dead, near-spoken vocal stream.
On the other hand, you have the caustic "Vain In Costume", which is - dare we say it - relatively catchy, even though it remains akin to being repeatedly hit in the face by literal Rocket(s) From The Crypt. It's not the only one either - the bluesy "Loubs" performs a similar trick beneath Randy Huth`s fearsome chainsaw-bass stomp.
Fear not though, for it's business as usual most elsewhere. "Cathouse" is a frenetic barrage of guitar and angst from which Bradley Fry manages to rip a strangled solo, and he's got another up his sleeve during the pyroclastic flow of fists and teeth that is "Health Plan" - an otherwise hell-for-leather portrait of modern American disillusionment. The visceral closer, "Teenage Adult", then picks out its crunching bass riff with the precision of a sniper but the firepower of a howitzer, Korvette sneering all the while above the pant-wetting roar.
Pissed Jeans are not evolving in so much as they're experimenting, tinkering with their sound whilst being intelligent enough to leave their most dangerous edges ever-present in order to gouge the unwary and require a mopping out of spit and bile from the ears. It's true that, on paper, a punk band has rarely looked so unassuming, but theirs is a spark that ignites on record and downright explodes on stage. Honeys more than continues this trend, surely ensuring that Pissed Jeans won't again be overlooked in favour of some latest flavour of the month.
Advised downloads: "Bathroom Laughter" and "Health Plan".
on 20 April 2013
This album is dirty. The amount of fuzzy bass, pounding drums and deep vocals is great. The album opens with "Bathroom Laughter", and it really represents the album as a whole. The sound of tortured bass opening this album feels so good and aggressive, it's all so enjoyable, even if this band, with a name like Pissed Jeans, aren't the most serious of bands.
"Chain Worker" follows in suit of "Bathroom Laughter" with another strong song starting with a brief frenzy of blast beats before going into a, almost drone like bass line plodding along in an hypnotic Punk state. The three songs that follow keep the listener enjoyed and move things along well without feeling the sense of too much repetition. Track six, is "Cafeteria Food" and feels like "Chain Worker", but has a gloomier sound that reminds me of Joy Division, the song works really well and following it up is, "Something About Mrs Johnson", which doesn't really do anything. I don't know why the song is there, it's nothing really.
"Male Gaze" is strong, and "Cathouse" sounds like old-school Hardcore Punk, with gravel vocals that feature on a few songs. "Health Plan" is fast and humorous with the song lyrics "You want to know my secret? I stay away from Doctors." The last song on the album, "Teenage Adult" feel slightly underwhelming to finish off the album, but I'll settle it.
I don't think Pissed Jeans have anything revolutionary here with Honeys, but it is good enjoyable Punk music that you can head band to again and again and play the it as loud as you like. For the whole length of the album I never really feel bored, it moves on nicely keeping a flow of energy throughout. There is enough on here for me to forget about it maybe getting slightly samey but when you think that may be happening, "Cafeteria Food" comes along, and so does "Cathouse" and "Health Plan".