Pissed Jeans

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Shallow (2005) , 6/10
Hope For Men (2007) , 5.5/10
King Of Jeans (2009) , 5/10
Honeys (2013), 4/10

Pennsylvania's Pissed Jeans played catchy abrasive garage-rock on Shallow (Parts Unknown, 2005). The anguished, frantic and deranged boogie I'm Sick is the ugly sibling of the catchy Cramps-ian voodoobilly Boring Girls. Little Sorrell is just an emphatic, spasmodic rock'n'roll. The guitar both devastates the already confused shout of Ashamed Of My Cum and soars above it. The main riff of Closet Marine borders on cacophony. The guitar elaborates a bit more in I Broke My Own Heart instead of simply exploding in the listener's face, with the guitarist remembering Jimi Hendrix's lessons. The band is less convincing in the slow and grinding seven-minute Ugly Twin I've Got that packs a lot less energy and does not adequately replace it with anthemic chords. On the contrary, the band is brilliant in setting the stage for the galactic dissonance of Wachovia and the subsequent collective orgy, a sort of pow-wow for hysterical junkies. Their quintessential noise-psychobilly blends the destructive and the constructive power of Bradley Fry's guitar, first investing in quasi-abstract noise and then unleashing feverish riffs. Matt Korvette's screams are often drowned by the torrential current of guitar savagery.

The Pissed Jeans displayed a more nervous mood on Hope For Men (Sub Pop, 2007), a work devastated by freer guitar noise despite slightly less psychotic vocals. People Person is less visceral and less disjointed than the previous album, but its desperate recitation and steady drumbeat are at the mercy of hyper-psychedelic guitar effects. With its frenzied tom-tom, cascanding riff and psychological second half, I'm Turning Now evokes horror soundtracks. In a move typical of their art, the somewhat cleaner sound, however, does not benefit the most demonic rants, such as A Bad Wind and I've Still Got You Ice Cream. The eight-minute My Bad lacks the poignancy or the propulsion to justify its convoluted dynamics. On the other hand, giving up the guitar and the drums for a piano has intriguing effects on the nightmarish chamber drama Scrapbooking. The voice is alone in a claustrophobic ambience created by sloppy guitar drones in The Jogger.

Streamlined and heavier, King Of Jeans (Sub Pop, 2009) alternatively increased the doses of violence and reduced them to the level of amateurish punk-rock. The peaks are the unstable voodoobilly of False Jesii Part 2, the visceral and tense Dream Smotherer, the agonizing hardcore of Dominate Yourself, and especially the total frenzy of Human Upskirt. Half Idiot is the rare case of effective non-musical recitation. Spent is the lengthy song du jour: just like its predecessors, this plodding doom/stoner creature loses too much before the grand hot finale. Too many of the songs deviate from their proverbial fury without finding another viable format.

Honeys (SubPop, 2013) is a very trivial collection. The occasional spikes of manic voodoobilly (Bathroom Laughter and Romanticize Me) cannot redeem the amateurish feeling of the comic psychedelic march Cafeteria Food and of the Melvins-esque doom-metal Male Gaze.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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