Ever been so angry you’ve wanted to scream until your lungs fall out? How about so angry that you feel like destroying anything and everything in your path, including that priceless Picasso you’ve seen hanging in the local museum? That kind of rage and disgruntled nature come infrequently to most of us, but far more regularly to Pissed Jeans.
Now signed to the legendary Sub Pop record label, Pissed Jeans have re-issued their 2005 album Shallow, a twisted debut that has certainly not mellowed with age. In case you’re unfamiliar with Pissed Jeans, they’re the sort of band whose favourite Nirvana track is ‘Endless Nameless’, whose favourite film is Cannibal Holocaust and whose favourite Coldplay album is the one that burns the best.
The first “song” we’re confronted with is ‘I’m Sick’, an at times unlistenable two minutes and twenty three seconds of death and destruction that just about gets you ready for what’s in store. ‘Boring Girls’ is relatively subdued compared, but is infinitely better for it. The classic guitar tone and demented vocals transport you to a dingy club in some mid-sized town, moshing along whilst sweat streams from the walls.
The one minute bass intro for ‘Ugly Twin (I’ve Got)’ is not the least bit surprising in the context of things, whilst the grunge solo-ing throughout ‘I Broke My Own Heart’ is again to be expected from an album which is defined by madness. But is there method behind it all? The answer? A resounding no.
This is not a case of controlled chaos, this is just chaos. From the chugging riffs of ‘Little Sorrell’ to the pedal abusing screeches of ‘Wachovia’, Shallow dares you to listen. It dares you to find an album more rock ‘n’ roll. But most of all, it dares you to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the madness once in a while. After all, who needs melody when you have energy?
Now where’s that sledgehammer? I’m off to find a Van Gogh.
Shallow is re-issued on 6th October via Sub Pop.