Pissed Jeans are angry. I know what you’re going to say – Pissed Jeans are always angry, right? Well, that’s as maybe but with new album Why Love Now, they’ve reached certainly the epoch of their own anger, hate and general malice for life and the wider Trump-filled world. Even more than it’s predecessor 2013’s Honeys, it mocks and prods at its targets with this seething resentment. The skill of Pissed Jeans is that they know how far too push it, without it becoming like banging your (or their) head against a brick wall.
Opener ‘Waiting on my horrible Warning’ is this sludgey slow burner, gravelly guitars and wobbly synth lines paling into insignificance next to the growly bawl of frontman Matt Corvette, who vents his spleen while claiming he’s just ‘singing the blues’. Single ‘The Bar is Low’ follows on, more charged (it’d be hard not to be) than it immediate predecessor, and it see’s the band get fully into their stride, delivering this gluey, rumbling bassline and shards of guitar spiking their way into the mix throughout.
If that grabbed you by the throat, then Ignorecam with its wash of guitar noise, aims one firmly at the chin, and ‘Cold Whip Cream’ pushes you hard up against the wall, giving you visions of a wide-eyed Corvette wide-eye and red-faced Corvette an inch from your face, hands holding you up against a wall, stifling you with fear (and probably covering you in spittle). Its terrific stuff.
Love without emotion has to be one of the songs of the year, these heavy riffs and almost despairing lyrics dressing up what is a brilliant pop song, and ‘I’m a man’ ridicules the idea of sex talk and indeed sexism, turning it on its head, and kicking it back through your expectations. The track that follows it, (won’t tell you) my sign, does nothing to abate the unease as it drags its heels, wading through sludge-rcok treacle, before giving wall to the muscular assault of It’s your knees.
The brief hair-dryer treatment of ‘Worldwide Marine Asset Financial Analyst’ gives way to the seething ‘Have you ever been furniture’ before album closer Activia brings the album to a gloriously dark close; the menace that the band manage to hold back making it feel almost ominous, like the 2am walk through the underpass, light flickering above you, danger around the corner.
This era of the celebration of selfish, self-righteous, small-minded, sexist man on the street, aided and abetted by Trump, has in turn created the first great record of rejection of those ideals and reaffirmation of punk ideals. Vote action – Vote Pissed Jeans.