On their fourth studio album, Pissed Jeans are up to their old menacing ways. Honeys is packed with drudging, noisy guitars that toggle between rapid and slow grinds of pace but are always brutally loud and aggressive. It’s a sound not far removed from previous efforts and again finds singer Matt Korvette delivering sarcastic, angst-ridden lyrics mostly dealing with feelings of isolation and often lined with an odd sense of cockiness. While it may not be a distinct step forward creatively, the blue-collared Allentown, PA, quartet has managed another solid effort that maintains its edge.
The two different paces really are what distinguish the album. Starting out with the fast, aggressive attack of “Bathroom Laughter,” with Korvette shouting like a mad man, they then bring things down to their bare, ugly bones on “Chain Worker.” Supported by not much more than the plod of Randy Huth’s distorted bass and sparing thuds on Sean McGuiness’s drums, Korvette screams, creating a total impression of isolation. As usual, he comes off as the quiet kid in the corner, plotting his revenges and taking a sort of pride in his loner status. By “Romanticize Me,” they’ve picked things back up again and carry into the chord-pounding “Vain In Costume.” Likely the angriest of the bunch, “You’re Different (In Person),” climaxes with Korvette hollering the song title with the immense bitterness of distrust. The sludge of “Cafeteria Food” is met with the type of observations on the mundane that Pissed Jeans have routinely offered through their career, closing with the deadpan line, “I’m feeling like Jesus Christ, our savior.”
The brashness and angst that come with hardcore-related music tend to be a young person’s game. Often with age, we’re strapped with giving much more than we stick it to the man, rendering the authenticity of the anger in a song a little hollow. However, Pissed Jeans almost bridge the gap on “Health Plan,” a song about the point in adult life when you have to choose a health plan, to which Korvette explains, “You wanna know my secret? I stay away from doctors!” On “Teenage Adult,” the subject is addressed directly, singing, “Just another teenage adult, all frozen in time” in a mid-tempo stride.
With similarly noise-heavy bands like Slug Guts, METZ and Pop. 1280 making waves in recent years, on Honeys Pissed Jeans have reasserted themselves in the conversation, reminding people they’ve still got plenty of anger up their sleeves. Even if the perspective is slightly older, the album finds the band loud, raucous and cynical as ever.