This is a blog devoted to music on the edge - experimental, underground, alternative, subversive, or just plain weird - new music that tries new things, or old music that broke old rules. It's a place to discuss ideas, share discoveries, to think about what makes music interesting and challenging but still good to listen to. Join in and have your say!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

When you find yourself in times of trouble - Pissed Jeans

Everyone has their own way of dealing with stress and hardship. You can drink, you can pray, you can sit quietly and meditate. Or you can listen to music like Pissed Jeans and their wild, no holds barred 2009 album, King of Jeans - which, to slightly plagiarise Simon from Melbourne's Polyester Records, is music that just doesn't give a fuck.

The music here is rooted very much in the grimy mud of hardcore punk, with its screeching aggressive vocals, its frenetic guitars and drums, its barbed wire glazed wall of sound. King of Jeans is music that lives and snarls in the not-nice suburbs, where the struggles are not about the existential angst of the disaffected middle classes, but the daily grind of living, where everything is drudgery, where nothing means anything, and where the only thing you can do with life that makes any sense is tell it to get fucked. It's music that is able to be ugly without for one moment craving beauty.

Nowhere is the grind more savage, more hateful and hostile, than in 'Spent', a song that drags itself along to dirge-like, twisted, dissonant guitars, through a day of frustrated nothingness - sleeping, but waking up tired; drinking cold water that doesn't satisfy; earning extra money but having nothing to spend it on; getting the car fixed, but now it just makes a different noise that it's not meant to make; and everything is in "a different shade of grey".

It might sound like pretty bleak stuff and, a one level, it is. But good music always manages to give a different hue to things and, here, Pissed Jeans, by the sheer force and ferocity of their grunge, transform those shades of grey from drabness to defiance. It is music that might indeed be revolted, repulsed, by life, sickened by it, but, in its sickness, rather than curling up in the corner feeling sorry for itself, it throws up all over you instead.

The songs on King of Jeans are sometimes so fast that you feel they are hammering you in the gut, sometimes so slow that you feel they are holding your intestines in their fist, twisting them. But when you listen to it, you don't want to hide for shelter - you want to be like it. You, too want to be able to say, as in the album's opener, 'False Jesii Part 2', "I could tell a joke and make the whole room laugh, but I don't bother/I could show up with the coldest six-pack, but I don't bother/No to everything".

You, like Pissed Jeans, want to be able to just not give a fuck.


  1. The trouble with saying 'No to everything' is that it gives the forces of darkness a free run. And making an album about not giving a fuck about anything is a great way to get yourself noticed - which this lot certainly give a fuck about.

  2. Yes, Patrick ... I guess even being non-commercial becomes pretty commercial sometimes.

    Thanks for the post!