Factory towns are, by and large, not a terribly fun place to live. I’ve lived in more than a few, and believe me when I tell you that the curious intersections of sociology that occur in them have a tendency to wear you down after a while. Life there is as monotonous as the machines make it out to be; you get into a rut of the same old places populated by the same old faces. You go to the same bars, have the same drama, sleep with the same people. Pissed Jeans knows this life all too well. They come from Allentown, PA. You know, “Well we’re living here in Allentown/and they’re closing all the factories down/Out in Bethlehem they’re killing time/Filling out forms, standing in line”. It’s the existential ennui of such a place that lends the band the primal urge necessary to craft their brand of heads-down, cock-out torpedo rock. They exist in a similar sonic realm as Polaris winners Fucked Up, but where that band reaches for the esoteric, with concepts and operas, Pissed Jeans instead mostly just wants to follow the Stooges in terms of feedback, fucking, and getting fucked up. They succeed at this wildly; they can deftly balance rave-up bouncing garage punk (“Vain In Costume”, “Bathroom Laughter”) with Melvins-esque sludge (“Chain Worker”, “Male Gaze”). “You’re Different (In Person)” shows a deep love for the Jesus Lizard. It’s an album that seems to exist primarily to placate the fears of the nouveau aged who think the Nineties cornered the market on the Sabbath dream. It transcends these influences, though, with a deadpan sense of humour that sets it to an equal alongside the classics and a balls-out attack that makes it all seem curiously modern.
Final Mark: A-