The first thing I learned about Pissed Jeans was that you apparently can’t write the word “pissed” in The New York Times. The second thing I learned about Pissed Jeans, going to see them for the first time in 2008 after reading the Times review calling them “***** Jeans,” was that they can raise quite a ruckus: wrathful, spike-edged, hilarious, somehow charming in a wet-smack-to-the-head way. These guys are ferocious—you’d call them a Pennsylvania-based sludge punk band and be technically accurate but only that—and they await the kind of amped-up, late-night crowd they’ll no doubt receive Friday night (late!) at Mercury Lounge (alongside San Francisco trio Feral Ohms, with Philly duo Pinkwash opening). Pissed Jeans’ fifth album, Why Love Now (stream it below), is just about perfect for these fraught, fractious times: taut yet messy, rampaging yet focused, full of swagger and the Jeans’ typically potent blend of acidic humor and forceful frankness. There are songs called “(Won’t Tell You) My Sign,” “The Bar Is Low” (watch its official video, above) “I’m a Man” and “Worldwide Marine Asset Financial Analyst,” because of course there are. They’re meant to unsettle you a bit and land some punk angst not in a neat package but in kind of a rumpled heap. Some of it’s dirge-y, some of it’s ferocious, and all of it’s direct, knowing and self-assessing. Coproducers are Arthur Rizk, well-known to fans of thrash metal and of Philadelphia music that likes to surf the big waves out on the edges of sanity, and the one and only Lydia Lunch, icon of no wave. Shirts will come off at the Merc. Beer will be spilled. There’ll be some scary-funny laughter, surely. “What I’ve always gotten from punk rock is to question the status quo,” said singer Matt Korvette. “Just being kind of self-aware. Don’t take accepted answers as gospel.… I think I’ve maybe got some more immature things squared away. I’m not an insecure 24-year-old anymore.” He’s actually a 35-year-old insurance adjuster. And we’re betting that he’s a good one. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson
Tag Archives: Pissed Jeans
Allentown, Pa., sludge-noisemakers Pissed Jeans have been making anti-authority music, while channeling ’80s punk, ’90s hardcore and their hardscrabble hometown, for more than six years. The foursome—Bradley Fry, Randy Huth, Matt Kosloff and Sean McGuinness—has put out three LPs and three EPs, and while the recorded music is somewhat slowed down, in concert it comes frenziedly alive. Because these guys put all they have into each performance, which you can experience when they play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday.
WFMU Fest: Pissed Jeans – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 2, 2009
Philadelphia sludge-noisemakers Pissed Jeans headlined Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday, the second day of the three-day WFMU Fest. The quartet—guitarist Bradley Fry, bassist Randy Huth, vocalist Matt Korvette and drummer Sean McGuinness—recently released its latest album, King of Jeans, on Sub Pop. Both in their recordings and when they play live, Pissed Jeans wears its musical influences on its sleeve: The most prominent influences being early-’80s grunge and punk bands, like Mudhoney, and early Black Flag. On record, Pissed Jeans’ songs are slowed down, simple and almost monotonous to the ear, but live, the band creates frantic activity to accompany that sound.
At Friday’s show, McGuinness frenetically pounded his drums while Korvette lunged across the stage, mumbling and screaming his way through each song. Fry and Huth stumbled around, but kept the attention on the flailing frontman who, in turn, kept the room’s chaotic, sweat-bowl energy consistently agitated. The majority of the band’s set was material from the latest album— lyrically simple songs like “Dream Smotherer,” “Spent” and “Goodbye (Hair),” which intrinsically put a smug smile on the face of discontentment. Pissed Jeans played hard (evidenced by McGuinness’s onstage vomiting) and put on a set perfectly complementary to the sounds and sentiments on King of Jeans. —Kirsten Housel
(See Pissed Jeans at the CMJ Music Marathon at Mercury Lounge on Saturday, October 24th.)
Photos courtesy of Diana Wong | dianawongphoto.blogspot.com