Pissed Jeans are one of the most unlikely bands to sign to Sub Pop in the new millenium. In the early 90s it might have made a bit more sense but after releasing records from the Shins, Fleet Foxes, Postal Service and Band of Horses, going back to their roots and releasing a record like this seemed to be the last option for the label. Yet here we are in 2009 and Sub Pop is releasing Pissed Jeans third record, their second on Sub Pop. And not only is it refreshing to see Sub Pop continue to support Pissed Jeans, it’s a good thing they have because this might be the best record the label, or any label for that matter, has put out all year.
If you aren’t familiar with Pissed Jeans, they are a hardcore band that is equally influenced by Flipper as they are the Birthday Party. What separates them from any other hardcore band and lets them cross-over to other crowds is the fact that their sloppy brand is actually played incredibly well and you can either laugh or relate to the overly-nihilistic lyrics.
For me, the lyrics and vocal delivery of them are really what shines for this band. Singer Matt Korvette’s lyrics are generally way over the top and always self-deprecating. This might be most evident on the final track of the album, “Goodbye (Hair),” an ode to getting old and losing your hair. Halfway hilarious, halfway “uh-oh, this is going to be me soon.”
While the word hardcore and punk might turn a lot of people off who wouldn’t normally listen to this type of stuff, this record really has a lot of special moments and stands hands and feet above the rest. It’s catchy which I am not sure hardcore punk has ever been. Do yourself a favor and time some time out of your day to check this album out.
"False Jesii Part 2" from Pissed Jeans' 2009 album King of Jeans
"Dream Smotherer" from
Pissed Jeans' 2009 album King of Jeans
For the second time, we have two albums that get Record of the Week honors. Joining the newest album from Pissed Jeans is the newest album from Mount Eerie titled Wind’s Poem.
Phil Elverum, who is Mount Eerie, has played under a couple monikers, most notably Microphones. After Microphones released their album, Mount Eerie, Phil decided to release music under the new moniker. He has released quite a few albums with Mount Eerie and each has gotten decidedly darker and darker until he released the E.P. Black Wooden Ceiling Opening last year and finally went off into the murkiest of musical waters. Mixing in his singer-songwriter, lo-fi folk with black metal, Phil stumbled upon a new genre which he titled “black wooden” for it’s organic feel. Wind’s Poem is Phil’s first black wooden full length album.
You can tell Phil has been listening to a lot of Xasthur for his black metal influence. There is a lot of layered, desolate sounding guitar like waves crashing against rocks in a not so peaceful manner. Phil’s voice remains a soft spoken one over it all though. The beginning track, “Wind’s Dark Poem,” shows Phil getting it out of the way right at the beginning that this is not going to be your typical Mount Eerie release. Drums and distorted guitars crash away before falling apart to reveal it is still him behind all of this. There are several nods to legendary black metal band Burzum from the synthesizer sounds on “Between Two Mysteries” to the lyrical homage on “Stone’s Ode.”
All in all, Phil did something with Mount Eerie I didn’t think would be possible. Put out an album that has a large black metal influence and for it to actually be good, let alone great. If you have been a fan of anything from Microphones or Mount Eerie before this is an absolute essential album to check out.
"The Hidden Stone" from Mount Eerie's 2009 album Wind's Poem
"Between Two Mysteries" from Mount Eerie's 2009 album Wind's Poem
Honorable mentions for August 4th Record of the Week:
- Antlers - Hospice (Frenchkiss)
"Bear" from Antlers' 2009 album Hospice
- Jay Reatard – Watch Me Fall (Matador)
"It Ain't Gonna Save Me" from Jay Reatard's 2009 album Watch Me Fall