Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 02:02
Honeys, the latest record from Pissed Jeans—the favorite sons of Allentown, Penn.—doesn’t have the wide-eyed impressionability of the band’s 2007 breakthrough, Hope For Men. Nor does it have the lecherous feel of its follow-up, 2009’s King Of Jeans. Instead, it’s strangely sexless and oddly misshapen.
When Hope For Men arrived in 2007, it was like punk had finally been dragged, kicking and screaming, into a 21st century of existential despair and consumerist ennui.
When vocalist Matt Korvette spat through a five-minute song about scrapbooking or screamed that “I’ve Still Got You (Ice Cream),” Pissed Jeans had managed to jab at today’s sarcasm-drenched society without a drop of irony.
Honeys sounds even more indebted to its forefathers Flipper and early Sonic Youth: the album is a 38-minute blast of noise, nary a trimming of fat remaining. Its discipline is remarkable. And Korvette’s vocal range, when he chooses to rein in his barbaric yawp, is thrilling. But unlike Pissed Jeans’ last two efforts, here the subtext is front and center.
“I am a chain worker/caught in an infinite loop,” Korvette snarls on “Chain Worker.” Poisonous odes to online dating and—seriously—Christian Louboutins shoes follow. Yet sometimes these larks are indeed affecting, like the supremely creepy “Cafeteria Food,” which revels in the quiet death of a coworker, and the joyful “Vain In Costume.”
Honeys is saved from self-parody by its straight-faced presentation and killer musicianship. Head-bangers won’t be disappointed, but Honeys marks the point where deadpan satire congealed to mere shtick.