Pissed Jeans – Honeys
Their fourth album proper, their third for Sub Pop, sees Pissed Jeans slowing the tempo in places, delving even deeper into the sludgy, paranoid punk rock that they explored on Hope For Men and King of Jeans. There are fast-paced tracks – Bathroom Laughter and Romanticize Me both have the energy of hardcore punk, but with deceptively polished lead guitar riffs and complex bass. But it's the plodding, unhinged, epic dirtiness of Chain Worker and the artful mundanity of Cafeteria Food ("Go ahead, you can use the microwave / It's an excellent kitchen tool") where the band shine.
There are hints of labelmates Mudhoney in the drums and guitar; of The Birthday Party in Matt Korvette's deep, miserable singing and shredded, harrowing screams. Korvette's subject matter – sexual frustration, aging, conformity, boredom, failure – contrasts with the grinding, beautifully slack riffs. Suffering becomes laughter, boredom becomes drama. Scuzzy punk traditionalists or grunge revivalists? It's unimportant – Pissed Jeans are as hard to turn away from as a three-car pile-up. [Bram E. Gieben]