I really miss Sub Pop
's Loser days. Back before Seattle had a Sound(TM), the Northwest had a severely caustic, nihilistic musical aesthetic, egged on by punks who had beards when they didn't give a fuck about shaving. These were dudes who personified the sarcastic sneer--Green River, Mudhoney, Tad, and all those other "grunge" rockers who pulled metal up from a sludgy muck just enough to kick it around it around the dive bars with maximum aggressive momentum. Pissed Jeans
came up across the country from Mark Arm and Co., but these Allentown, PA boys have that Loser sound down, and Sub Pop has been paying them close attention (check out that Pissed homepage photo: frontman Matt Korvette kicking it with Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman and Soundgarden's Kim Thayil)
. The group recently released its second record for the label (and third album overall), King of Jeans
, a title that does little to foreshadow the joy of menace that's contained inside.
There's plenty of hate to love here, but I'm particularly partial to "Dream Smotherer,"
which, from the title on down is a bludgeoning piece of punk--a heavy dose of battery acid on all those pretty indie pop bands Sub Pop's been fond of as of late (and, I'll add, I'm fond of as well. But sometimes you just need to hear a band that burns). That song makes me all the more excited to see Pissed Jeans tonight, when they storm Bottom of the Hill