They Leave It All Onstage

October 5th, 2009

WFMU Fest: Pissed Jeans – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 2, 2009

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 |