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Pissed Jeans 

Hope for Men (Sub Pop)

Wednesday, Jun 20 2007
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Pissed Jeans produces an uncomfortable amalgamation of dark sludge-punk and metal-riff repetition. Their sound is comparable to a more atonal Jesus Lizard, or maybe a less-dynamic, slowed-down Melvins. Add the repetitive aspects of early industrial rock and you're halfway to contemplating Hope for Men, the Allentown, Penn., band's first full-length for Sup Pop. Frontman Matt Korvette screams harder than David Yow, though, and overall, every instrument on Hope is manipulated to far more malicious ends than the aforementioned ingredients suggest.

Take the opener, "People Person." Staggered entrances of instruments and vocals converge into a relentless trajectory of kick-snare thud, squalling feedback, rumbling bass lines, and blurted dramatics. Things relent a bit with the onset of "Secret Admirer," a plodding beast that rides mid-tempo bass guitar and shrill cymbal-abuse into a pattern of hypnotic recurrence. Somewhere between the pace of those initial numbers, Hope finds its stride. Dave Rosenstraus' lurching bass lines drive most of the songs here, whereas Bradley Fry's soaring guitar remains in a relative orbit. An exception is "The Jogger," which employs little more than amorphous guitar feedback, drummer Sean McGuinness on vocals, and sparse percussion that sounds like a lunatic banging on an empty pipe. Elsewhere on Hope, Korvette snarls out mostly innocuous nonsense: "With a slice of pizza, in my fantasy world," or "It's great looking at pictures," but it all still sounds pretty serious housed in his uneasy yowl.

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Grant Brissey

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