Age and four full-lengths haven’t mellowed Pissed Jeans; they can still unleash a blare that will exfoliate your cochlea. Formed in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Pissed Jeans released Shallow, their first album, in 2005 on Parts Unknown Records. The band relocated to Philadelphia seven years ago, and Sub Pop released Hope for Men in 2007, and then King of Jeans in 2009. The latter was recorded by Grammy nominee Alex Newport, who also recorded Honeys.
Age and experience have, however, refined Pissed Jeans. Their ideas and execution have become more subtly focused. The songs on Honeys are direct without being obtuse, evocative without being vague, personal without being indulgent. They also rock like nobody’s business. Forget all the claptrap you’ve heard about other bands delivering the goods. If you want bloodthirsty, you’ve got it… At times Honeys is the sound of being bashed over the head with a snow shovel. At times the band slows down and sounds like waking from a nightmare you can’t quite remember. The songs are catchy, but in a way that would appeal to mental patients who only understand colors.
Honeys stews on the kind of mundane, niggling things that keep you up late at night. It’s an ode to the misery and shackles of being a responsible adult, and the shame of one’s own narcissism. Pissed Jeans trucks in menacing songs about insecurity, and nobody has ever done it better.
Next time I'm trying to explain how it feels to have an anxiety disorder I'll just whip this bad boy out.
(For real though, what a visceral album. The way it winds down in Guest House kills me every time. It paints the perfect picture of an exhausted collapse after being suspended in a terrible stasis of wailing sirens. Takes me back to early Smog releases like Sewn to the Sky for some reason, maybe just the cadence of Alexis' singing.) menee