LIVE REVIEW: Pissed Jeans @ OAF, Sydney 2017

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Pissed Jeans, BB & The Blips, L.A Suffocated @ Oxford Art Factory 6th Dec 2017

After the unfortunate dropout of the original support acts, relative unknowns La Suffocated and BB& The Blips stepped in to warm the crowd and set the scene for Pissed Jeans’ first show on Australian soil.

IMG_1177L.A Suffocated only played a handful of songs, with a low-key vibe from behind their table of electronic devices. The duo displayed a nice blend of modern rhythmic drive and nostalgia 80s synth sounds, brushed with a rough-edged and slightly industrial atmosphere. Vocals appeared on a couple of songs and showed potential to drag their instrumentals into fully fledged songs.

BB & The Blips took us into prime punk territory with a full band and one gear (fast) approach. The guitars were thin and nervy sounding around their drummer who was the binding glue for the band. Front-person BB was a dynamic and commanding presence, prowling, bouncing and shimmying front of stage. Her vocals provided the colour and spirit to the songs – all yelps, screams and exuberant sweet/sour melodies. Fun punk rock with a conscience.

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The enigma that is Pissed Jeans – are they serious or taking the piss, are they post-punk/metal/sludge rock? – sauntered on stage and kicked off an hour of wholly entertaining, brutal and hip-swinging heavy music. The answer to the aforementioned question is obviously ‘all of the above’. From their name to their lyrics and stage performance they both honour and deconstruct the myth and cliches of rock and hardcore music. As the band laid down malevolent riffs and tumbling, mangled and constantly shapeshifting rhythms, front-person Matt Korvette played the role of the rock star and anti-rock star, both posturing and showing disdain for convention. He tore -t-shirts, humped mic stands, used the stage curtain as a towel and feigned tears as they staggered and vicariously stumbled through their back catalogue, with a particular focus on their recent album Why Love Now. Moshing ensued, a stage invader ate concrete as he launched himself back into the parting audience and the band laid waste to a cover of Guns n Roses It’s So Easy that was more reverential than one might expect. That’s the glorious dichotomy of Pissed Jeans.

Chris Familton

ALBUM REVIEW: Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now

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Humour in heavy rock music requires just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek irreverence to avoid it tipping over into slapstick and immaturity. Bands such as Revolting Cocks, TAD and Killdozer all found that balance between savage guitars, a pummelling rhythm section and cutting, sarcastic lyrics, and in these modern times the masters of wit and riffs are Pissed Jeans.

Why Love Now finds them further refining their grinding punk rock and sludgy grunge sound – finding that sweet spot between sonic brutality and catchy hooks. ‘The Bar Is Low’ digs in with a dirty and distorted bass groove, like if AC/DC had come from the Pacific Northwest, before blossoming into a Stooges meets QOTSA galloping chorus. It’s that dynamic interplay that makes the album so damn appealing. It rocks hard but it’s not one dimensional gonzo rock.

Lyrically Matt Corvette continues his fascination with the minutiae of modern living. Lives lived through small screens, webcam fetishes and male sexual obsessions. Office equipment gets a seedy, sexual treatment courtesy of a spoken word piece (‘I’m A Man’) by author Lindsay Hunter (Ugly Girls) over an industrial track that sounds as gloriously warped as the aforementioned Revolting Cocks. It’s the marriage of Corvette’s strangled howl and  Brad Fry’s guitars that best defines Pissed Jeans’ sound. They are familiar in their 90’s alt-rock phrasing and delivery but they never allow themselves to get pegged down as revivalists due to the way they can stagger from the loose chaos of Jesus Lizard to the proto-metal riffing of Soundgarden. You get a sense that they’re passionately obsessed with their musical heroes yet they’re constantly seeking to mutate and evolve their sounds, musically and lyrically.

As the album comes to a close they leave us with the one-two punch of  the slow and sleazy Nirvana-like ‘Activia’ and the jerky metallic slabs of Not Even Married. Two different styles but perfect examples of why Pissed Jeans are seriously fun.

Chris Familton

ALBUM REVIEW: Pissed Jeans | Honeys

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by Chris Familton

square-600-2Rating7.5Pissed Jeans… how can anyone go past a name like that? As a descriptor of the band that the moniker graces it is a pretty appropriate for these Pennsylvanian miscreants who ooze bodily fluids, sordid themes and many forms of self loathing and disdain. Following on from 2009’s Hope For Men, Honeys sticks to the same template of that and previous records while also succeeding in peeling back some of the scabs to expose a rawer and more bruising sound.

There are some obvious precursors to their type of sludgy post-hardcore punk rock. Jesus Lizard, Tad and Harvey Milk all laid the paving stones for Pissed Jeans while in New Zealand you can draw a strong line back to SPUD and early HLAH. The gruff, flailing, strangled wail of singer Matt Korvette is the icing on the cake. He uses grunts, monotone monologues and visceral bellows to unload his peeves and cynical observations on technology, modern life and its inhabitants like a less earnest Henry Rollins. Cafeteria Food finds him as a worker celebrating the death of his project manager whose life he finds inane and shallow and it is just this type of subject matter that sets Pissed Jeans apart from many others working in similar musical realms. Honeys is packed with lines like “There comes a time in my life to choose a health plan. You wanna know my secret? I stay away from doctors”. Lines that make you either chuckle or grimace depending on the blackness of your sense of humour.

While Korvette’s voice and demeanor quite rightly draw in the listener it wouldn’t succeed without the rest of the band delivering him wheelbarrow loads of lurching sleazy rock with which to spew forth his discontent. The drums are brutal and unrelenting with Randy Huth’s bass hitting like a pick axe, deep and tight in the rock. Bradley Fry has a great handle on when to dispense nervous twitching treble riffs and then drop gears into a grinding and distorted chordal death waltz. Either way it is his playing that keeps everything on edge and swinging between total chaos and mechanical bulldozer punk metal. On the Nirvana-leaning Health Plan he sticks to the punk rock rule book of rapid fire chord changes, no solos included while elsewhere he nails measured crunch and broken note bends on Male Gaze and Birthday Party-sounding noise on Chain Worker.

There is a certain intensity that makes Pissed Jeans a band that will be championed by its own predefined audience and even with minor changes they’ve shown on each album they’ll never break out and find a new demographic of fans. That though isn’t a problem when you are the frontrunners in your field. With Fugazi on a long term hiatus, Jesus Lizard seemingly boxed in the attic again and Rollins content to traverse the globe with his spoken word it is left to the likes of Pissed Jeans to carry the torch for this type of bold and brash gonzo rock that wallows so beautifully in society’s ugly failings.

this review was first published on undertheradar.co.nz

NEW MUSIC: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Pissed Jeans and The Men

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The new releases are coming thick and fast at the moment as record labels look to release albums they most held over from the end of 2012 to get maximum exposure as we kick off 2013.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have already released one song (We No Who UR) from their new album Push The Sky Away and here’s another. Jubilee Street is still on the lowdown with its stately pace and mood but there is much more to latch onto here with Cave’s literary way with lyrics telling a tale of love/lust and the complications of conception. Lines like “I got a foetus on a leash” remind us that Cave hasn’t lost his edge and settled into musical complacency. Martyn P. Casey’s bass is another highlight of the new track.

Push The Sky Away is out Feb 15th. PRE-ORDER

 

Pissed Jeans have given us two stellar albums of tightly wound, swaggering punk rock and it looks like the new LP Honey will be another chugging set of humour and angst-laced songs. The latest song to emerge from the record is Cathouse. If METZ pushed all the right buttons for you in 2012 then pre-order this right now.

Honey is out Feb 12th on Subpop. PRE-ORDER

 

The Men are about to tour Australia on the back of last year’s excellent Open Your Heart LP and the good news is that the follow-up is already recorded and ready for release in March. The first track to come from the new record is Electric which sees them hitting some Primal Scream, JAMC and Ramones territory in their typical hurricane style.

New Moon is out March 5th via Sacred Bones. PRE-ORDER 7″

LISTENING TO…

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    • ARCTIC MONKEYS – Humbug (not as desert rock as you’d expect…)
    • GIRLS – Girls (album) (Elvis Costello-esque vox with some nice lo-fi indie dark pop)
    • CIRCLESQUARE – Songs About Dancing & Drugs (Interpol meets Junior Boys in a quiet back alley in Manchester)

    • PISSED JEANSKing Of Jeans (lurching, belligerent and intelligent)

    • JAPANDROIDSPost Nothing (One of the better exponents of the new wave/lo-fi shoegaze guitar music that is hitting at the moment. These guys a bit more post-At The Drive In edge though)