October 4, 2013

Pissed Jeans - Honeys (2013)

Pissed Jeans are a noise rock/punk band from Allentown, Pennsylvania and, despite their name, which led me to expect a hyperviolent hardcore band, their new album Honeys is more like the musical equivalent of a quirky indie comedy about awkward teenagers who just kinda sit around complaining about stuff. Except Pissed Jeans are a bunch of no-longer-young dudes who are pretty depressed and annoyed by a lot of little things.

After listening to the new Touche Amore and Modern Life Is War albums - both dealing with profound themes like one's own personal legacy, estranged friends, facing the death of a relative and so forth - the songs on Honeys come off as surprisingly mundane: one by one, singer Matt Korvette tackles issues like being a lazy boyfriend (but who should nonetheless be appreciated more by the poor girl by his side), wearing a suit and feeling weird, setting up a perfect social media profile even though you're nothing like you describe yourself (and the not-so-surprising discovery that other people do it too), becoming a dull corporate office drone who can't even muster enough enthusiasm to gloat at the death of his project manager, avoiding doctors because you're afraid of needles and being a good-for-nothing man-child who wastes his life sitting on the couch and watching cartoons.

These are petty concerns compared to other real tragedies one can experience during his or her lifetime, yet Pissed Jeans take these minor nuisances very seriously, just like George Costanza would. The little everyday struggles are set against a backdrop of spastic drumming, fuzzy guitar riffs with occasional nods to stoner rock and some filthy bass lines that just add to the general feeling of frustration. Meanwhile, Korvette screams, kicks and shouts his lyrics with the energy of a guy who just pulled out a shotgun in a McDonald's, pissed off because he missed the breakfast menu by like five minutes. He's angry, annoyed, passionate and, above all else, armed and dangerous.

There's no shame in first world problems, and Pissed Jeans are here to tell us it's okay to be frustrated about your friend's cats who give you allergies or about your shitty boss, even though you're too lacking in options to really afford to tell him to fuck off. Instead, you suck today's dick and keep your mouth shut. Then you go home, put Honeys on full blast and proceed to smash all of your plates with a baseball bat. All in a day's work.

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