Half Divorced by Pissed Jeans album review by Ethan Rebalkin for Northern Transmissions. The band's full-length is now out via Sub Pop Records


Half Divorced

Pissed Jeans

Pissed Jeans bring a nuanced noise-punk assault on their sixth studio album Half Divorced. The Sub Pop band formed in 2004, making them 20 years old this year. At this point in a band’s career, some may lose the edge, or enthusiasm that can be found in fresher acts. Pissed Jeans
throws that assumption right out the window, and uses their experience to distribute a barrage of bombarding punk that sounds anything but tired.

“It’s not the killing that’s inherently wrong / it’s that they’re killing all the wrong people,” Matt Korvette protests on the opening track “Killing All The Wrong People,” a song that could be described as an anti-war hymn that seems to be interested in analyzing blind patriotism, and the hypocrisy and idiocy of war. A complicated subject that Korvette and gang navigate with class. Sprawling self-oscillating delay bridges the gap between “Killing All the Wrong People” and “Anti-Sapio,” creating a nausea-inducing feeling that is irresistible. “Anti-Sapio,” like most songs on Half Divorced, have an urgency and angst to it that is as charming and nostalgic as it is fresh.

“Helicopter Parent” and “Cling to a Poisoned Dream” could be described, in the best way possible, as two angst-ridden, aging-millennial rock anthems. “Helicopter Parent” addresses people irresponsibly having children just because “you started getting bored,” and “Cling to a Poisoned Dream,” perhaps introspectively, talks about clinging onto a dream for the sake of one’s own sanity and “peace of mind.” Crunchy bass grooves and explosive rock guitars can be found gallivanting on both tunes and are sure to please the punk-rock faithful. Chugging guitars and Korvette’s signature punk-vocal delivery sits comfortably on “Sixty-Two Thousand Dollars in Debt.” Maybe the first song that I’ve heard that sings about paying off student-loan debt? A sporadic, fuzzed-out guitar solo blesses the song about half way through, then ends with the punchline of “so someday I’ll be sixty one thousand dollars in debt.” The tongue-in-cheek antics of Pissed Jeans doesn’t end there. “Everywhere is Bad,” features an amusing call and return part that, as you could guess, gives reasoning as to why everywhere is indeed bad.

On “Junktime” Korvette points our attention to the chemicals and contamination that can be found in our food supplies. He does so in such a way that is approachable, engrossing and not at all preachy. I’m in love with the guitar sound on this song. A velcroed fuzz melds itself with a delay that sounds like it’s on the verge of self-oscillating, and it is simply sonic-bliss. It emulates the urgency and panic that many (me included) feel about our earth’s impending climate crisis. Major kudo’s to Pissed Jeans for being able to blend the lyrical subject matter with the instrumentation on this song.

The B-side of Half Divorced comfortably flaunts sludgy, Sabbath-inspired riffs, driving rhythm section’s and has absolutely no shortage of playful reflections on the self and society as a whole. The record ends with the leading single “Moving On.” A propulsive rock anthem that closes an album that I’m sure most people will be doing anything but moving on from.

order Half Divorced by Pissed Jeans HERE


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