A noise that blurs boundaries of ugly and beautiful in poleaxing style.
Jimmy Martin 2013-02-06
The fairly unsavoury moniker of this band might strike many as the stuff of career suicide. Yet the very notion of music as a career was never an option for the mighty Pissed Jeans.
This Pennsylvania band has at its heart a bizarre paradox. The monolith of malevolence that constitutes their fourth album Honeys was in fact made by a bunch of chaps with respectable office jobs, all of whom have become fathers since 2009’s King of Jeans.
Yet one thing amidst all this is certain. Honeys, for all those craving old-fashioned noise rock imbued with acidic intent and an aura of relentless unpleasantness, is the genuine article.
Pissed Jeans have always understood that making this kind of depraved racket is matter of embracing the unhinged and the unclean to potentially dangerous levels.
It’s a matter of provoking just as many concerned as confused faces in any audience you confront – faces lost in giddy rock rapture.
Moreover, Honeys is no mere Black Flag, Flipper or Jesus Lizard worship, and it's here that this band triumphs where similar contemporaries like Dope Body and the distressingly ersatz Blacklisters fail.
The deadpan, snail's-pace swagger of Cafeteria Food, the freewheeling death ride of Health Plan and the lurching, zombified glam stomp of the puzzlingly-titled Loubs are possessed of a uniquely deranged air all Pissed Jeans' own.
This is the stuff of vicious hangovers, unkempt hair being head-banged back and forth furiously, and eyebrow-raising debacles on public transport.
Who's to say whether this is the id of these responsible citizens running rampant, or whether spurious notions of authenticity have any more place in the arena of noise rock than they do at a presidential inauguration.
All we know at this stage is that Pissed Jeans, this twisted, wilfully perverse abomination of a band, make a noise that blurs boundaries of ugly and beautiful in poleaxing style. And long may they stare into this particular abyss.