Music Monday: Pissed Jeans Grow Up (+ Free MP3)

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Pissed Jeans
King of Jeans
Sub Pop

To people whose last whiff of Sub Pop came sometime in the late ’90s—as grunge’s last fart lingered just a little too long—Pissed Jeans probably sound like an evolution of sound. Their hard, slow-swinging punk is soaked in the patented, scuzzed-out heaviness that once made the label a king maker.

A critical distinction, though: Pissed Jeans have an absolutely ferocious angst creeping through each song, and deep punk roots, which makes them palatable to people (like myself) who could never get down with the Northwest grunge scene. Hailing from Allentown, Pa., the band draws its sound more from the old Amphetamine Reptile roster of noise rock or, going further, from the hectic noise of Touch & Go’s Jesus Lizard and Butthole Surfers, or even Flipper.

 

On King of Jeans, Pissed Jeans’ third album (due out tomorrow on Sub Pop), the band mates continue their battle with the monotonies of life. Their irritation with the everyday hits a crescendo here, as heard in exercises of witty hyperventilation like the opener “False Jesii Part 2” (click here for a free MP3), “Lip Ring,” and “Dream Smother” (about being too tired to do anything). Wave after wave of self-loathing and doubt wash over you, filling your lungs with salty, nervous sweat, soaking you in an uncomfortable reality that maybe hits a little too close to home. I can relate anyway.

Some songs, like “Request for Masseuse,” crawl through the speakers and slink around your head not unlike an old, warmed-over Black Sabbath dirge, slowly singeing everything in its path. As you’re still putting out that fire, they turn around and smack you with “Human Upskirt” a fast, killer, no-frills hardcore song—not unlike something Richmond, Va.’s Government Warning would unleash.

If you wanna see Pissed Jeans flaunt their massive macho dot, check out “Goodbye (Hair).” It stand outs in that singer Matt Korvette talks over uncharacteristically sluggish backing music in a laconic, tormented way, lamenting the loss of his hair. Not a catchy sing-a-long—no topping “Boring Girls,” off PJ’s 2005 debut, Shallow—but a song of raw, twisted man-angst more tortured, more real than anything you could read in Men’s Journal or Esquire.

That’s the band’s secret ingredient. Each album—consciously or not—contains the theme of growing up, if not just getting older. Shallow wallowed in late-teen/early-20s anxiety (Cue “Ashamed of My Cum.”) Their follow-up and 2007 Sub Pop debut Hope For Men, channeled a transition from relatively carefree teenager to young man trying to make it on his own (“I’m Turning Now”). And now here we are with King of Jeans, expertly skewering (or being skewered by?) early signs of middle age.

Pissed Jeans are currently touring on the West Coast. You can follow MoJo music reviews on Twitter via #musicmonday or at @MotherJones.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate