Pissed Jeans: Honeys
Philadelphia's Pissed Jeans have been making quite the name for themselves over the past few years. They appeal to the punks, the rockers and the indie kids in equal measures, quite a feat in current day music's tribally split scenes. The group's previous album, 'King Of Jeans', brought them to my attention, and I was blown away by the ferocity of the songs on that platter, I couldn't wait to see what their new one had in store. A friend who had heard an advance copy of it told me I would love a track called 'Gaze' and he wasn't wrong.
From the off 'Gaze' is a blinder. Taking Rollins Band's 'Blues Jam' from the quite incredible 'The End of Silence' LP as its blueprint, it drags Henry Rollins from his powerhouse latter-day period and reimagines the song as if it was recorded whilst he fronted Black Flag. I didn't know that I wanted to hear this until I did, but it's incredibly clever and something Pissed Jeans must have been aware of when they recorded it. Some of the hooks and accents from vocalist Matt Korvette are spot on in their delivery. His "I'm not innocent, I'm guilty" refrain could easily be a studio offcut from Henry Rollins' masterpiece.
Elsewhere on this, the band's fourth album their Sub Pop pedigree shines through. 'Health Plan' uses an identikit rip from Nirvana's 'Tourettes' as its intro, and the slower numbers like the Mudhoney-flavoured 'Loubs' and 'Teenage Adult' expose a real flabby grunge sound emanating from their guitar cabs. Music this dirty hasn't surfaced since Tad gave up the ghost in 1998. That is a long time to wait for a band to capture the original essence of the grunge movement. It's in Pissed Jeans' blood. None of these songs are in-jokes or recorded with a knowing wink. They play it perfectly straight and obviously love the punk and grunge scene they ape so perfectly.
You could play a game of spot the influence when listening to 'Honeys', but as their previous records have shown this band is much more than the sum of its parts. Each album shows genuine development from the last. and it doesn't detract from the quality of any of their older recorded output. Along with Ceremony and the UK's Flats, Pissed Jeans are proving that off kilter punk-rock is in very rude health at the moment. 'Honeys' is an absolute monster of a record in its own right and an early contender for record of 2013.