Mean Jeans - Are You Serious? (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Mean Jeans

Are You Serious? (2009)


Ramones Ramones Mean Jeans Ramones new album Are You Serious? Ramones pop-punk Ramones. The trio (Ramones!!!) tears through 13 raucous tunes in 25 minutes ('mones), calling to mind bands like Teenage Bottlerocket and Screeching Weasel (by which I mean, the Ramones). With song titles like "Lets Pogo B4 U Gogo" and "Total Creep," Mean Jeans are keeping Ramones-core alive.

While the Oregon act clearly goes out of its way to recall Joey's vocals and Dee Dee's basslines (and count-offs), there are subtle differences, like guitar solos. "Slime Time" even segues into a totally random electronic slow jam. Closing track "Lets Pogo B4 U Gogo" clocks in at over four minutes in length, although it's one of only two songs that exceed the 2:30 mark.

OK, OK, so these are small stretches. Are You Serious? is a total Rocket to Russia tribute album. But it's so got-damned fun. Here's a band that thrashes through their instruments as quickly as possible while still executing stellar vocals. Give me a fast beat and a couple dozen "whoa-oh"s anytime. Songs like "Space Trash" and opener "Born on a Saturday Night" rip and roar to life; they cannot be denied.

Of course, it's these same points that I triumph that some might loathe. Frontman Billy Jeans really does try to do a Joey Ramone impersonation, so much so that I wonder if I dig this album because it's catchy, or because it reminds me of one of my favorite bands. The songs aren't terribly deep -- drinking, drugs, comics and the occasional ladyfriend are the dominant topics. And, depending on which side of the fun spectrum you fall under, "Lets Pogo B4 U Gogo" is either pandering or deliciously cheesy.

But darn it all, these songs are glorious. "I'm a no-brainer," the band sings on the appropriately titled "No Brainer." It's true. With tunes this blistering, joyous, and awesome, I don't have to think much about throwing on some Mean Jeans.