8. Pissed Jeans- Hope For Men
I had always thought this band was some bunch of jaded hipsters playing post punk somewhere on the exterior of the DC punk scene, until I found out their new record was coming out on Sub Pop. This shouldn’t really mean anything, but if it’s Sub Pop, and it’s heavy, I feel rather inclined to trust it. Instantly, any photograph of this band will catch you off guard. They don’t look like the kind of band that would be playing heavy music, but at the same time they seem perfect for it. Four unassuming, normal working class dudes from Allentown, PA, made what seems like the best hardcore record of the year, a record that is itself an anti-hardcore record. Combining the sludgey, filthy sounds of Flipper with the anthemic loserdom of early Nirvana, with the sarcasm and humor of Black Flag, all the while taking out any element that would make it seem even remotely desirable to commercial exploitation, this is perhaps the most unique record of the year.
With a brooding sense of sarcasm and apathy throughout, singer Matt Korvette takes you to town on being sad and eating ice cream, guys with funny accents in his “Fantasy World,” and brings us a seething indictment of white collar liberal-ass mother fuckers, on the five minute, one tempo “People Person.” Pissed Jeans may be the first hardcore band to write an angry punk song without guitars, drums, or bass, as present on “The Jogger,” where all they do is recite a list of characteristics that tend to apply to any trust fund hipster who just used his grandparent’s will to move to Williamsburg after he graduated from Vassar. Whole foods…retirement plan…entertainment unit…and somehow you’re captivated throughout the entire song. Drummer Sean McGuinness is one of the sickest drummers on the planet, and he surprisingly holds back quite a bit here, all the while forming the essential backbone from which Pissed Jeans rip your face off. Hope For Men may be incredibly sarcastic, but somehow I felt sincere empathy seeping out of every pore of this record.
You can’t fuck with this band at all. There’s no real point in hating on them, they hate on themselves so much already it doesn’t really matter.