CD Review of Hope for Men by Pissed Jeans

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Hope for Men
starno starno starno starno star Label: Sub Pop
Released: 2007
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Hi there. Would you like an instant headache? Then please, take a listen to Pissed Jeans’ terrible new album Hope for Men, available now on Sub Pop. Pissed Jeans hail from the Allentown/Center Valley, PA portion of the United States. So far, not very many good bands (if any) have hailed from this region. The less said about Air Conditioning, the better. There must be something in the air of the land that Billy Joel made famous, because the music coming from said area is worse than a perpetual brain freeze. Some kids must dig the noise, however.

Pissed Jeans are Matt Korvette on throat shredding, Brad Fry on git-box, Sean McGuinness on skin pounders, and David Rosenstraus on low end demolisher. If you like your songs actually sung, then you may want to look elsewhere. Korvette doesn’t have a melody in him, and instead prefers to verge on that moronic Cookie Monster type of death metal vocals without actually going that deep overboard. He sounds like he was punched in the stomach with a cinderblock while someone decided to choke hold him from behind as he vomited out his lyrics. The finest in dark brown chunder from a stomach to ever be recorded.

The album opens with “People Person.” Lots of feedback and primitive drum pounding. Not very enjoyable or listenable. Korvette lets his vocal cords rip on lines such as “My friends like a people person / Girls melt for the people person / Doors open for a people person / I wanna be a people person.” So much angst! Perhaps a nice sedative will make things all better. Pound-pound-pound goes the song. Skip-skip-skip goes the CD player’s button.

“Secret Admirer” lurches out of Allentown, a giant, towering small-mouthed bass gasping for breath and life itself. A huge, two-ton rusty hook is embedded in its mouth and the reeking blood is getting all over the VW car lot. Korvette dances under the dying beast, shouting “I’ve got something to tell you / I hope you don’t take it wrong / You’ve got a secret admirer / And I think he’s singing you a song / He’s a mysterious guy alright [sic] / I’ll give you a clue who it is / And I’ll throw in a couple guesses / He’s in the music biz!”  The giant fish stinks up the air under the July sun and falls to its doom on a brand new row of shiny Jettas.

“A Bad Wind” actually has a catchy riff and then dies at the chorus. Too bad. “Scrapbooking,” on the other hand, is a hilarious, slowed-down piece of performance art with lots of echo on the vocals and a bass line on its last legs trying to find a way out of the song. Korvette seems to be really amused with himself and the sound of his voice echoing all over the nothing. As such, this is easily the most entertaining and best song on the album, for all the wrong reasons.

The rest of the album plays out the same one-note recipe. Songs such as “I’ve Still Got You (Ice Cream)” and “Caught Licking Leather” offer no rewards, though their titles promise an escape. Pissed Jeans flail about effortlessly, never hitting their mark, and possibly never even trying. This is their major label debut. The guys at Sub Pop must have been bored the day this band was signed to their roster. Blink and you’ll miss them. Next week you’ll have completely forgotten.

~Jason Thompson