"The idea was to start a different kinda punk band focused
on dead ended carnal cravings, sexual depression
that sort of
thing. Mainly we just wanted to bludgeon the listener with dull, monotonous
droning rock music that just sucks the energy out of you, the musical
equivalent to watching a toilet flush."
This quote from Pissed Jeans' frontman Matt Korvette
introduces the act as both social-fending recluses and as a band that
makes music that is far from being energetic. On both these counts
this assumption is precisely true. However, this lack of acceptance
is also at its worst display on Pissed Jeans' 3rd album, King Of
Jeans, in which the music is a mixture of both the speed-up first
record and the draining second. King Of Jeans uses both of
those albums' main elements as a central focus, but does not tread
any new ground within the genre and even in the realm of the band
Playing a form of sludgy noise-rock on their debut album, Shallow,
at first Pissed Jeans seemed like a joyous breath of resurgent air
into a dying scene. The 8 songs had both a sense of a musical-terrorist
structure as well as a reclusive and yuppie-hating, misanthropic energy.
On their 2nd album, Hope For Men, any sense of lurch was slowed
down to a crawl. The album was nowhere near as fun to hear the depressing
music suck the soul out of you.
One realizes that Pissed Jeans' deadpan sonics and disgruntled vocals
are not meant to be "fun," necessarily. However, any album
should always not isolate the listener from having a good time, even
if it is in a depressing or disturbing sort of way. On Hope For
Men it isolates itself from the audience despite having a good
amount of good ideas in both design ( "My Bed", "Scrapbooking",
) and ever-so-slight hooks ("A Bad Wind", "I Still
Got You (Ice Cream,)" and the music did just what Korvette describes
while its lag plundered any sense of anticipation and excitement out
of the listener.
Pissed Jeans' albums are tending to get more-and-more reclusive as
they go on. While this presumably can be thought of as a good quality
by some, as in not conforming to the masses, instead the non-structured
bashers only rely on doing just that
making loud, hollow-sounding
ruckus that does not have direction, let alone purpose. Most of the
songs do not rise out of the dirty and repetitive murk that Pissed
Jeans probably thinks is experimentation, while the music is nothing
more than unrequited and lackluster anarchy of thought and design.
King's opening-track "False Jesii Part 2" is easily
the best moment on the album. The song has been on advanced promo
mixes and it is easy to see why: Pissed Jeans is at its apex in both
structure and creatively abrasive sound. The song lashes through its
chorus with gravity-shaking aplomb, while Korvette wails every bit
as good as David Yow of The Jesus Lizard and Scratch
Acid. It's just too bad these are by far the only good few minutes
on the entire record.
The next songs are about what the last couple of albums displayed
so unabashedly; male aggression and self-destruction, especially towards
the 9-5 world and the upper class. Whether it is the workaholic atmosphere
of "Dream Smotherer" or the say-farewell-to-youth of "Goodbye
(Hair)," the lyrics are both for the ranting lunatic in all of
us and the sincere Can't-I-Still-Live-While-I'm-Young method of thinking.
About a quarter of the songs are not much more than 3 minutes, and
half are even less than that. Credit can be given to Pissed Jeans
as editors, because at 12 songs in about 38 minutes there is not much
time for droning passages this time around.
Then again, if the album was much longer than it is, it would have
taken this writer a lot more agony to complete. King Of Jeans
is a product that is fit for the 30-day wear guarantee on your store
receipt. It makes one too hesitant about stumbling again.
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