Album Review: Pissed Jeans ‘Honeys’


Pissed Jeans – Honeys
Genre: Noise Rock/Punk

Label: Sub-Pop

Pissed Jeans are a band whose sound is as dirty and self-depreciating as their name, and lash out a ridiculously even drunker and disorderly version of punk that can be traced back to The Jesus Lizard. Despite the noisy nature of their music, Pissed Jeans manage to fuse a good dose of catchiness into their sound. “Honeys” is their fourth album and their third on the legendary Sub Pop label.

The Pennsylvanian quartet have been around for nine years now and have released an incredibly impressive collection of albums so far, especially with their addictive last release “King Of Jeans”. However, there’s a change that becomes abundantly clear on “Honeys” within the first few tracks; the dry sarcastic and dire commentary that was signature to their sound has warped into a more seething and more dangerous level aggression. The band are still easily identifiable, this is not a big change, you’re not not going to recognise this as a Pissed Jeans album, but it does feel a more daring and angsty then previous efforts, which becomes clear with the first track alone.

Bathroom Laughter is an absolute drunken battering ram with it’s rumbling bass and opening drum roll, just before the vocals and guitars join in on the punk goodness. The track just brings forward a side you don’t often see with Pissed Jeans; there’s no sense of parody or joking cynicism but straight-up muddy punk aggression. The second track, Chain Worker, sort of follows suit but let’s up by slowing the tempo down to a hangover inspiring pace. Plus, the track is basically driven by vocals and bass alone for the most part while backed with fizzying feedback. Drums come in only on slamming injections like a fist banging on a table during a heated argument, which adds to the complete poisonous feel of the track, along with lines like “”My chain provides me with safety / So it always knows where I am”.

However, the ending of Chain Worker morphs into Romanticize Me, which sounds like the usual Pissed Jeans with a particularly strong Iggy Pop vibe with its playfulness. Their’ usual sarcasm returns with lines like “So you waited wondering when I’d wake up / When it comes to sleeping I’m a talented man” and the chorus “Take all my faults and twist them in your hand / ‘Til I look like a sweet and thoughtful man / Ro-man-tuh-cize me”, which just inspires you to pull some snotty David Yow moves.

Vain In Costume ups the ante further by pushing the pace faster and an overall catchier sound, especially with the jumpy verse riff.  Simply put, it would fit in perfectly on “King Of Jeans”. You’re Different (In Person) is full of frustration and disgust, sounding like a bad turn in a night full of alcohol, especially with the gravelly moaned vocals during the frothing build-up sections. Aside from the chorus “You’re different in person / I’m different in person”, the track does prove a little forgettable.

Perhaps the downright funniest track of the album is Cafeteria Food, which is just a ridiculously dryly delivered monologue of an office workers despise for his project manager and a broker, and his joy in hearing of their deaths. The lyrics are just jaw-droppingly cruel with the likes of “One day I’ll get a message waiting at my desk / I’ll take the time to open it and feel it remove my stress / People walkin’ round looking sorry / Someone even cried / I’ll be feeling rosy / Because you’re dead, you died”. It’s just so monotonely delivered with the vocals and lazily-strummed guitar and bass, you can’t just help burst out in laughter at how brutally honest and common these feelings probably are in urban workplaces.

Something About Mrs. Johnson is simply a noisey interlude with a demo-sounding riff played going through effects, as well as some Lightning Bolt-esque distorted vocals of ramblings and la-la-las. Male Gaze, like You’re Different, is slightly forgettable and never really brings a catchy or infectious moment through it’s acidic attitude – it feels like something is about to come at you through the whole song but never really steps forward at the opportunity. Cathouse tests the water more, providing a more memorable riff, but again feels slightly ‘filler’ in comparison to some of the earlier tracks, but does feature a pretty neat (and short) guitar solo.

Loubs has, dare I say it, a Queens Of The Stone Age feel with its mid-paced grooving feel: even vocalist Matt Korvette sounds borderline sleazy (with a touch of nonchalant satire) in delivery as well as lyrically. It’s also the longest song at 4.51 minutes long, and does feel it – not in a negative way; but in comparison with the rest of the album rarely reaching 3 minutes, it’s pretty lengthy. Health Plan kicks some spark back into the album with an adrenaline rush of relentless drums and fast guitars, while humorous lines like “Yeah, that’s why I don’t do it / I stay away from doctors / No I’m serious man, I’m not an idiot / I stay away from doctors” being barked at you, it’s just completely entertaining.

Closing track Teenage Adult just falls short of the 4-minute mark and just contains a guitar riff that would, in form of a human face, be the drunken, snarling image of Russell Crowe. The band just pound on at a sluggish pace while Matt does his signature snarling vocals… which is just about it for the track, feeling like a slight let-down as an album finisher.

That said, “Honeys” is a solid release. Perhaps it’s not as fulfilling all-round as “King Of Jeans” was, but it’s still pretty decent. The portion of humour that has always existed in Pissed Jeans’ music has definitely decreased as a result of the bitterness and envy in their sound being more prominent, but the album has its noise-punk bangers. While some tracks can be considered fillers, there’s still plenty that hook you in with a catchy riff and melody or with simply humorous lyrics. Pissed Jeans fans should have no problems with this.

7/10
Favourite tracks: Cafeteria FoodBathroom LaughterRomanticize Me.

Review by Rich Reviewz

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NEWS: Palms Announce Release Date For Debut


Calling all Deftones and Isis fans: Palms, made up by Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and ex-Isis members Jeff Caxide, Aaron Harris and Bryant Clifford Meyer, have finally announced a release date for their debut album!

The album is set to be unleashed on the world on 25th June, 2013. And if that’s not enough, the debut will be released via Mike Patton’s own Ipecac Recordings, which can only mean good things.

Aaron Harris explains the formation of the band:

“Clifford, Jeff and I started Palms a little over a year ago out of a desire to continue making music together after Isis ended. Chino joined shortly after and our sound took shape from there. We’ve worked really hard on this first release and are excited for people to hear it. It’s nice to be back behind the drum kit, and with this lineup.”

While a lot of us Deftones fans are still yearning for new Team Sleep material, or maybe a full-length Crosses album, this seems to be Moreno’s current focus. This time, if judging by the undeniably large Isis influence that will entail from this line-up, we may well hear Moreno experiment with the post-metal/sludge genres, which will be interesting to say the least. Or, the guys may well just catch us all by surprise by creating something completely unexpected.

Are you excited for this release? What are your predictions for the outcome of this meeting of minds? Let us know!

NEWS: Nine Inch Nails Return!


You read it right! Trent Reznor announced yesterday that his legendary industrial-rock brainchild Nine Inch Nails would be reforming to tour again, starting this summer.

Trent Reznor decided to give the band a break in 2009 and proceeded through the following years by concentrating on How To Destroy Angels (with his wife Mariqueen Maandig) and producing award-winning soundtracks with Atticus Ross for The Social Network and the US/UK version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattooas well as announcing a collaboration with Dr. Dre’s company Beats to work on a new music-streaming platform.

However, it’s 2013 and Nine Inch Nails are BACK. To confirm this, Reznor has even announced who will be within the band’s ranks:

“The band is reinventing itself from scratch and will be comprised of Eric Avery, Adrian Belew, Alessandro Cortini, Josh Eustis, Ilan Rubin, and me. The first shows will begin this summer, followed by a full-on arena tour of the US this fall, and lots of other dates worldwide to follow through 2014.”

Unfortunately, while it seems that guitarist Robin Finck, a favourite among many fans, won’t be appearing on this stretch of NIN’s history, it’s good to see that keybaordist Alessandro Cortini and drummer Ilan Rubin are returning to the fold again.

So does this mean a possible new album in the near future? Will it be another “Ghosts I-IV” project, or a more rock-orientated” The Slip”? Who knows, but this return to touring alone raises our spirits!

Live Review: Deftones – 19th February 2013 @ O2 Academy, Birmingham


It’s hard to believe that it’s been around three years since Deftones last graced the UK with a tour (rather than lone festival appearances) and judging by the eager queue that forms outside the O2 Academy in Birmingham on that very cold night, it’s been long awaited by many fans.

The mixed crowd alone says a lot about Deftones: 40-year-old punks, young couples folded around each other, long-haired metal fans, a few indie kids sprinkled here and there – all show how diverse the Deftones crowd is and proves that the band doesn’t cater to any one stereotype alone. So then it’s no surprise that the support acts for the night represent the band’s range in both musical styles and tastes.

First up was London’s Three Trapped Tigers; a synth-heavy post-rock band who rely more on electronics than the regular band set-up, and are made up by Tom Rogerson on keyboards and vocals, Matt Calvert on guitar and synths/electronics and Adam Betts on drums. As the trio cover so much ground between them instrumentally, it became clear that they were practically glued to their positions because of it. Although completely understandable, it just didn’t bring the potentially excitable atmosphere as their music indicated at times, which was a shame. In fact, it was perhaps drummer Betts who was the most entertaining due to his frantic flurries during the up-tempo phases. While the set was enjoyable, it didn’t really leave much of an impact personally, yet it seemed that I was alone due to the positive cheers they had between songs.

Next up was California’s post-hardcore outfit letlive. If you’ve been paying any sort of attention to the band over the last year or two, you’ll know that letlive. have whipped up a dedicated cult-like following in the underground via their energetic and highly talked about shows – so much so that the band seem to be nearing mainstream success for it. Any negative connotations you might apply to that sentence would be ill-set however, because letlive. aren’t Mumford & Sons; but a raging beast frothing at the mouth for a feast.

‘Tired’ doesn’t seem to run in Jason Butler’s vocabulary as the frontman pounces across the stage, arms swinging, and apt to leave the microphone in his mouth as he screams to the ceiling. Guitarists Jeff Sahyoun and Jean Nascimento, along with bassist Ryan Johnson, aren’t far behind as they swing their axes while jumping around the stage without missing a note. The band proved that they were right for this tour and probably bagged themselves a bigger fanbase in Birmingham, which is well deserved after the performance they gave.

Finally, after several chants of increasing impatience and thirst, Deftones humbly straddled onstage to a roar of gleeful cheers and wasted little time before hammering into Diamond Eyes, the crowd instantly turning into one big a shuffling battlefield. Chino’s vocals held up remarkably well between the cleans and screams and the whole band were precise and executed it well, which went for the whole set.

The crowd was, to put it bluntly, fucking crazy throughout and only let up a little during the softer moments in the set (which were gifts after being almost crushed on more than one occasion) where the crowd sang in unison instead; which felt magical with the lightshow flowing over us. Chino was pretty fun inbetween songs too, casually interacting with the crowd and the rest of the band (particularly with bassist Sergio Vega, who had his name chanted a few times and looked like he was in his natural environment onstage). The band just seemed at their happiest and closest at this point in their history.

And despite supporting their latest release, “Koi No Yokan”, they only played a couple of tracks from the album (a ‘couple’ being Poltergeist, RosemaryEntombedTempest and Swerve City) and featured a larger number of fan favourites from other albums: “White Pony” made its appearance through PassengerChange (In The House Of Flies)Feiticeira; “Around The Fur” with Dai The Flu (dedicated to original bassist Chi Cheung), My Own Summer (Shove It), Headup and Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away); “Diamond Eyes” via SextapeRocket Skates and CMND/CTRL; the self-titled with Bloody Cape; and “Adrenaline” with Engine No.9 and 7 Words as the encore – the latter of the two being especially brutal to witness.

Needless to say (and unsurprisingly) Deftones killed it and gave more than what the ticket price was worth. By the amount of grinning, sweaty faces I saw once the lights came back on, I think you’d be lucky to find anyone who’d disagree.

Simply unmissable.

Review by Rich Reviewz