For Fans Of
Pennsylvania’s Pissed Jeans have a quite specific niche. They write loud, abrasive hardcore punk in the vein of Black Flag that lyrically centres around feelings of frustration and vulnerability written in a quite acerbic manner. With fourth album, ‘Honeys‘, Pissed Jeans tighten up and present a much neater record while ardently maintaining the relatable – if misanthropic – rage that has come to be the band’s signature.
‘Honeys‘ features the band for the most part sticking to what it knows best. Scuzzy, low, distorted guitars provide a backing for vocalist Matt Korvette‘s coarse, pissed off growls and vicious, heavy drumming that manages to maintain some level of ferocious order over what feels chaotic and unrefined otherwise – in a good way, mind.
There’s a solid contrast in terms of the ways in which Pissed Jeans express their brand of disillusioned punk. The sonic outbursts of anger on opener ‘Bathroom Laughter‘, ‘Vain in Costume‘ and ‘Cat House‘ give off the impression of being raw and brutally organic, while the slower and typically more calculated numbers among the bunch such as ‘Cafeteria Food‘ and ‘Loubs‘ feel more cynical and cold than enraged – indeed, the former has a strong post-punk vibe, with the latter sounding like it could happily fit at home on a Nick Cave record. Ultimately, it helps to keep things a little more interesting than the ‘angry dude yelling for thirty minutes’ shtick.
Thematically, ‘Korvette‘ deals with a host of issues instantly relatable. They’re not glamorous, and realistically sound far more like the ravings of middle aged blue-collar dudes letting off steam than any kind of “mysterious hardcore guy” routine. The way Pissed Jeans make it abundantly clear they’re not taking things too seriously is arguably one of the aspects that makes them so damn appealing in the first place. “It’s time in my life to choose a health plan / You wanna know my secret? / I stay away from doctors / That’s how I stay fit / I stay away from doctors” roars ‘Korvette‘ on ‘Health Plan‘, and its this sarcastic, dry wit that fits in with the wonderfully boisterous tone of the record.
‘Honeys’ takes and polishes everything enjoyable about the past few Pissed Jeans records to deliver their most interesting and – plainly – best album to date. In a scene with so much stagnancy, bands like Pissed Jeans are incredibly refreshing.
1. Bathroom Laughter
2. Chain Worker
3. Romanticize Me
4. Vain in Costume
5. You’re Different (In Person)
6. Cafeteria Food
7. Something About Mrs. Johnson
8. Male Gaze
9. Cat House
11. Health Plan
12. Teenage Adult