Review : Pissed Jeans - King Of Jeans
DrownedinsoundIt’s always a bit dirty when a music writer feels the need to crib from an official press release, but the accompanying words with King Of Jeans had one sentence so perfect that it just had to be quoted wholesale. Whether it’s testament to whichever bored PR hack at Sub Pop came up with the following sentence, or just to Pissed Jeans themselves is up to you to decide, but really, there is no better sentence for summing up the band’s trajectory up until now:
Shallow was Pissed Jeans coping with moving out of their parents’ homes, and 2007’s Hope for Men their initial reaction to the mechanical lifestyle of a wage-earner, King of Jeans is their formal and uneasy acceptance of adulthood.
The reason it’s bang on the money is twofold. Firstly, the metaphor of growing up exemplifies the fact that Pissed Jeans are one of few current bands who seem to go from strength to strength with every release. The brashly titled King Of Jeans is the newly-expanded quartet’s third longplayer, and to say it’s their best yet is an understatement. Shallow was a brattish Technicolor vomit of an album, chaotic and brutal like Flipper at their most depressing, but with a dash of dark humour. Hope For Men was My War sludge from the perspective of a nine to five knuckle dragger and one of the albums of 2007. But King of Jeans is the real deal: bigger, bolder, smarter, funnier, harder, faster....full text
PitchforkWhen Pennsylvania scuzz-punks Pissed Jeans released their Sub Pop debut, Hope for Men, two years ago, the album seemed to represent a noble if financially foolhardy way for the label to reinvest their Shins and Postal Service profits. Though Sub Pop, of course, first built its empire two decades ago on caustic, post-hardcore rock, the few signees to mine that tradition since the mid-1990s-- from godheadSilo to Murder City Devils to the Catheters-- tended to have tokenistic standing on an increasingly diversified and commercially viable roster. Pissed Jeans thus appeared to be the latest addition to this lunatic fringe: one that provided a spiritual link to the imprint's storied past, but-- given the limited crossover potential for caterwauling, guttural noise-core-- hardly a foundation for their future.
But two years later, our appetite for absurdist punk-rock seems to be on an uptick. The Jesus Lizard and Butthole Surfers are hitting the reunion-tour circuit, playing venues larger than the ones they filled in their heydays; Fucked Up have scored Fox News-pundit gigs and a nomination for Canada's Polaris Music Prize. Pissed Jeans, meanwhile, have answered this pigfuck-apoolaza with an album that could potentially elevate the band to Sub Pop franchise players. If Hope for Men was distinguished by the canyon-wide chasm between the band's ugly aggression and frontman Matt Korvette's seemingly frivolous lyrical concerns (the potential for a Whole Foods sponsorship remains sadly unrealized), King of Jeans successfully consolidates these two strengths, harnessing the earlier record's sometimes directionless fire-extinguisher splatter into shake-appealing rock action, and cohering Korvette's ramblings into a more complete picture of wage-slave misanthropy and alpha-male inadequacy....full text
DustedmagazineHail King of Jeans, in which our bears of very little brain walk in the only direction they could. Allentown punks Pissed Jeans have tightened up and started to sound like a metal band. I’m strictly talking the sound here: trends towards speed and sludge are always feeding back between metal and punk, and King of Jeans lopes like a lot a of the doom metal crawling around the underground the last few years. There’s none of the echo-chamber meanderings that weirded up their first two records. But their spirit (dispirit, really) remains constant. If metal evokes power, and punk evokes weakness, this record is a dive down a well of powerlessness, sinking deeper than they’ve gone before. It goes down swinging blades.
They’re still ridiculous, though. Faced with a receding hairline, the metal dude brushes in a different direction, and sings another song about awakening the ancients, male-pattern-badass style. But for Matt Korvette, it’s a humiliation too obvious to be ignored. The rest of the Jeans come up with a circling-the-drain riff, right for Cthulhu to rise from his vortex. Korvette’s narration makes the riff literal: more hair, down the drain. Their debut found a form-to-function match in "Boring Girls," where one chord manifested an obsession with girls outside his class and attention span. They may not stumble across such a keen conceptual joke again, but "Goodbye (Hair)" comes close....full text
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