Pissed Jeans - King of Jeans (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Pissed Jeans

King of Jeans (2009)

Sub Pop

Pissed Jeans merely provide a coarse refinement with King of Jeans. Though bearing less suffocating Flipper-isms, LP3 provides another batch of noisy, animalistic, filthy late `80s hardcore that takes the piss out of everyday life's details and overreacts and exaggerates them to a point that should be parody but instead ends up a realistic outlet of frustration for every edge-of-nerve American consumer and office worker.

"Half Idiot" intends to self-deprecate for something that might be the narrator's fault ("Working on my cuticles 'til my nails are chopped in half") or something somewhat out of his control ("Hit my head leaving your basement, / I feel like a giraffe"). These details become all the more amusing when the contrast comes to light, created courtesy of guitarist Bradley Fry's rumbling, charred chords and frontman Matt Korvette's vomit-stream snarl. Korvette slurs and slogs in "Dream Smotherer," seeming to hint at domestic tranquility when he barks the song's closing refrain, "I will help you make ends meet if you let me get some sleep." The restraint in the seven-minute-plus "Spent" is pretty psychotic, a throbbing, bass-driven narrative that depicts a boring, lazy figure spending his boring, lazy day, like picking up his car from the repair shop only to hear a "new noise"; it's a wonder this song doesn't end in a killing spree.

To describe King of Jeans as "melodic" feels like a half-truth, but Big Black this isn't. Korvette grunts and rolls his eyes through most songs; Fry provides a shrill squall every now and then; Randy Huth and Seth McGuinness just roll along the gravel-dusted roads of "Pleasure Race" but everything manages to remain surprisingly discernable. Granted, when the tempo is picked up effortlessly for "Human Upskirt," it does seem like the album's been given a sudden jolt of energy and life.

King of Jeans only seems to tweak the formula modestly and mildly, but it's enough to make it worth trudging through another day of minor problems and greater redundancies.

False Jesii Part 2
Dream Smotherer