The Pennsylvanian punk nuts prepare for the release of their ferocious fourth full-length, due in February via Sub Pop
"I think that it's easy, in this time of a million and one bands being blasted at you from all angles, to quickly take a band at surface level, judge them, and move on," says Pissed Jeans frontman Matt Korvette. "And probably, most bands deserve a quick 'sounds like XYZ, file under indie' designation. But I like to think there's more to Pissed Jeans than just "loud crazy rock. I think there are a lot of people that can relate to what I have to say." Come February, when Sub Pop releases his Pennsylvania post-hardcore outfit's latest, Honeys, listeners will have the opportunity to take in yet another electrifying helping of Korvette's very distinct, some might say sobering, dispatches from beyond the cubicle (during the day, Korvette works as an insurance claims adjuster; he also contributes to SPIN's style blog, Rack City) to address both "crippling pet allergies" ("Cathouse"), a "blistering fear of going to the doctor" ("Health Plan") and more. It's their first full-length offering since 2009's excellent King Of Jeans, and a set of a songs Korvette says were shaped by age. "I think we've certainly moved further into adulthood and more responsibilities," he says, "We all have families of our own at this point, and generally just feel less like wild and immature kids and more like adults, which is a pretty horrifying prospect in a lot of ways. Along with that, I think we've all become more loving people, maybe? There's less teenage/post-teenage angst in our lives. Now it's all adult angst."
And while said adult responsibilities have prevented them from embarking on the same lengthy tours that most of their labelmates and contemporaries would, the Pissed Jeans live experience also played a major part during the writing of Honeys. "We play shows with a modest frequency, and we know what songs we like to play live — and what songs we have kind of forgotten about — so we wanted to write a record that was all songs we'd want to play live, songs that people would remember and want to hear us play live. I think there's a good bit of energy in the music, maybe more so than other records." There is. Recorded this past August at Milkboy Studios in Philadelphia just "a mile or two" from where most of the band lives, Honeys is arguably their most muscular and direct effort yet, split in half by a gnarled, 82-second "palate cleanser" that actually dates back to the mid-90s. "I was digging through old tapes, listening to stuff, and that track just struck me as very Pissed Jeans-worthy," Korvette says of "Something About Mrs. Johnson." "There was a serious, unconscious kinship between our teenage selves and who we are today. That track was recorded by [guitarist] Brad [Fry] and [bassist] Randy [Huth] in Brad's parents' basement, sometime in 1995, and that was such a great time in our lives, just getting started playing in bands together and not really having anything to worry about. It's nice to get a brief and gnarly touch of nostalgia on the record, it makes me feel good to listen to it."