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King of Jeans

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Album Review

On King of Jeans, Pissed Jeans vocalist Matt Korvette moans about wanting a water with just as much desperation as when Suicidal Tendencies' Mike Muir screamed for a Pepsi back in 1983. Always brutal, Pissed Jeans' greatest asset may be that they're able to make just about any topic sound savage, no matter how mundane it is, whether it's that Korvette finds a lip ring attractive or that he's just plain thirsty. On "Spent," he lists the ordinary tasks of a day and makes them sound completely unbearable. In a painfully slow drudge, the vocalist complains about trying to get his car repaired but still hearing a clank, finding a blemish on his face that he can't conceal, and being too tired to do pushups. Even when he finds an extra hundred dollars in his pocket, it's a bummer, because he has nothing that he really wants to buy. Most of the lyrics come from that same defeated Charlie Brown perspective, one that should make you feel sympathy, but, because the music is so skull-crushingly loud, you're more apt to guard your face than try to reach out for a hug. No matter how pitiful he may seem, a crying barbarian is still a dangerous one, and this ever-present element of near danger runs through King of Jeans. It's overrun by the dissonance of half-step progressions and minor-chord crunch, and it's constantly excruciating. The songs are only broken up by the tempos, which shift drastically, from gruelingly slow to frenetically fast. Korvette screams angrily about potentially starting a conga line in the hardcore "False Jesii, Pt. 2" — meanwhile, "Request for Massuese" plods along like a creepy death metal song, and "Take both thumbs and dig them in/Stop my flesh from tightening" seems like a gory lyric until you realize the title of the song. Then it becomes clear that he's merely asking for a back rub.


Formed: 2003 in Allentown, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

As a working-class foursome from Allentown, Pennsylvania (the town that inspired the Billy Joel song "Allentown"), Pissed Jeans vent their frustrations through a bludgeoning, midtempo grunge punk sound focused on sexual depression and factory-town hopelessness, all doused in a heavy coat of sarcasm and apathy. On a sweltering August night in 2003, the Gatecrashers were driving between Los Angeles and San Francisco while rocking out to World Wrestling Federation: The Music, Vol. 2. During the peak...
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King of Jeans, Pissed Jeans
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