Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sophomore album #2.

Pissed Jeans - Hope for Men - Sub Pop

Musical phases are fascinating to me, and of all the trends to take place in the last decade, one of the most bizarre has been the shift between masculine and feminine – I imagine a great deal of this has to do with our political climate, and an abundance of liberal hearts protesting against the conservative administration in America, which eventually made way for conservative tendencies to comprise the new counter culture. Vice magazine is the prime example of this, though it's not clear how long the phase will last. Likewise, the ubiquitous presence of emo dandies has probably given eyeliner an appalling name and made testosterone desirable once more (say what you will, Pete Wentz, Brendon Urie and Gerard Way). So, it's not surprising that this Pissed Jeans record is likely one of many returns to early-Sub Pop-era grunge that we'll be seeing in the next year or two. More hilarious than how I view this record's place in the gender shift is what's printed on Sub Pop's promo copy of the CD, a reference to the record's title, of which Sub Pop writes: “we like to think of [Hope for Men] in the 'mankind' sense.” Oh Sub Pop, ever the mid-'90s female college student. (Surely I jest.)

About Pissed Jeans, though. There's definitely a tone of '90s grunge, here, and in the purest sense, metal being the primary core of influences, though as Pitchfork actually called it pretty spot on, a Flipper-style hardcore mood is certainly not absent. Perhaps the lack of a female presence helps, but unlike X27, there sounds to be no effort at performing with a look – in other words, they're not putting on their sexy faces when they sing – but like X27, they've got exactly what their band needs, no more and no less. And as can be expected, their sound is much bigger than their skinny frames.

Purchase Hope for Men here.

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