Thursday, March 4, 2010

Review #78: Pissed Jeans - Shallow (2005)


Year: 2005
Genre: Punk Rock
Hardcore, Noise
Parts Unknown Records
32 Minutes (Medium-Length)
My Rating:

From Allentown, Pennsylvania, Pissed Jeans is the most well-known noize-punk rock n' roll band of today! Now releasing albums on Sub-Pop, the band is well-known to the hipster crowd, which is reluctantly now part of the mainstream. So along with No Age, Pissed Jeans are the only two noise bands right now that scrape the barrier that divides the mainstream and the underground. But while No Age's melodies are essentially innocent-sounding and poppy, Pissed Jeans's musical heritage can be traced more back to '80s hardcore and noise rock such as Flipper, Black Flag, and Stickmen with Rayguns. The lyrics are usually brash, pessimistic interpretations of mundane activities and aspects of life that most people would not wince at -- masturbation, boring girls, horses, and the depressing acts of self-courting and self-rejection. But while they have a bit of "indie-kred" now for being on Sub-Pop (and they're probably one of the only good new bands on that label nowadays -- it's weird listening to "Sub-Pop 300" and having these stupid boring "indie" bands lumped in with the likes of L7, Mudhoney, and the Afghan Whigs. The Pissed Jeans and No Age tracks were the only good new ones), they did have to earn that level of respect, first. They did release a 7" single sometime before this album, but they REALLY took off startin' here. So let's talk about summa them Pissed Jeans songs now!

1. I'm Sick
Brad gets REALLY fuckin' sick in this song! He's got EVERYTHING. A headache, a fever, a runny nose, he can't sleep, and he's even got diarrhea!! I'm surprised there's not a healthy dose of AIDS there to top it off as well. Having been sick a few weeks ago, I understand the true soul-stinging pain associated with these lyrics. Being sick fucking sucks. The musical aspect of the song starts out with some schizophrenic punk-jazz pounding and a fast tempo in the verse. The chorus is slower, resembling grunge to some degree. Poor guy.

2. Boring Girls
Now I totally don't relate to this one. This one's pretty much the opposite of how I feel. Like, I can un-relate to it. See, it's about wanting to see more BORING GIRLS in life! And I'm trying to GET AWAY from BORING GIRLS (double-song reference!!) , ya see? So you catch my drift... ironically, it's my favorite song on the album. It's a one-chord near-classic punk anthem about what the title is called. Seriously, it just sounds great. Brad's voice is accompanied by a very high-pitched version of his own voice in some parts. Maybe it's Alvin. Or Simon. OR Theodore... Whatever, I really like this song!

3. Ugly Twin
Begins with a quiet bass intro which abruptly turns into something more heavy and monstrous. It's much slower than the two songs before it. It's about Bradley Fry's alleged "ugly twin", who looks just like him and rides the same bike -- but BRAD'S the one who gets arrested when his twin gets caught with pot! Oh, what a shame! Things really are lookin' down for Brad. They sure are. Basically like a song from My War if there was a comedy element injected. That seems to be the basic premise of Pissed Jeans, anyways. This iz the longest song on the album (7 minutes long).

4. Ashamed of My Cum
Really cool riff in the verses. Sounds like something Greg Ginn could dream up. The lyrics seem to describe an emotion and situation I felt plenty when I was 13 to 14 years old... y'know, your hormones are just raging so much you can't seem to resist the urge to whack off, but in the end you feel "dirty" for doing it... the lyrics also even moreso describe the feeling I feel now -- I whack off, but it's never quite satisfying enough. That's the end of Side 1.

5. Closet Marine
One of the first Pissed Jeans songs I heard. Some parents end up raising kids are secretly gay and they feel the need to hide it from their parents or else they might be persecuted. The protagonist of this song is in a situation that is very similar, yet very different at the same time. You see, this kid's MARINE. Like, from the Army. He was born that way. He can't help it. That's who he is. But he's afraid. He doesn't want his parents to know. There could be dire consequences if they knew...

6. I Broke My Own Heart
This one sounds like a Flipper song. It's hilarious, but a bit sad at the same time. It's basically a song telling the story of a man who fell in love with himself and tried to gain the love and affection of himself, and has a successful relationship, but ends up being rejected and dumped by his own self, resulting in probably decades of depressions which would eventually lead to a suicide not even fucking mentioned in the song because if you heard that part you would probably get so sad that you'd kill your ownself, and thus, the entire Pissed Jeans fanbase would become extinct, including the band itself (unless they hate their own music or something -- probably kill themselves due to the utter shame of it all in that case).

7. Little Sorrell
Little Sorrell is a horse who lives in a glass cage and "never got to die", won a medal, but is a very mean horse. This is one of the faster songs on the album, like "Boring Girls" before it.

8. Wachovia
This is a slow, very noisy song. The song's lyrics seem to describe the streets of a boring, generally lame town. "At Wachovia the lights never go out!", the final lyrics proclaim.

After establishing their "evidence" of legitimacy as a good rock band, they were eventually signed by Sub-Pop who noticed their weirdness and talent, yadda yadda yadda... if FLIPPER was called "loser rock" back in their day, it would clearly be an overstatement compared the tragically familiar poetry written by the band which has a name which is referred to as being known by the moniker, "Pissed Jeans". The lyrics are so deep they don't need any bullshit symbolism to be credible. The truth is that if your life at the moment is anything short of "exciting", you are living these songs. Probably, at least. But I shore doo like that one song called "Boring Girls". It kicks ass, y'know? Well, I'm off. That's my Legit Music Review for today. Hope you liked it!


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