Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pissed Jeans - Hope For Men

Hope For Men (2007) **

But is there hope for music?  Or specifically, this band?  Signed to Sub-Pop after the noteriety of their 2005 debut, Hope For Men has more of a proper album feel than Shallow, clocking in at the over-40-minutes standard length and all, and that's not a good thing - brevity is a strength when you're peddling music this deliberately ugly and abrasive; I mean, how much of this can you really stand?  The real problem is that the band is playing slower (and dare I say it, bluesier).  Not that's necessarily a bad thing for a band to slow down, it's just that these songs flop and drag across the floor like the death convulsions of an elk that's been shot in the head.  The debut crashed and keraanged! like a drunken asshole in a china shop.  At least they're still noisy and unbelievably ignorant.  This is music for inbred alcoholic rednecks.  (Compliment)  But drunk, fetal-alcohol syndrome-damaged rednecks should never, ever attempt a ballad, which is what "Scrapbooking," is.  Like most Pissed Jeans songs, the lyrics are about exactly what the title says it is - it's about looking at pictures in a scrapbook.  No poetry or even an attempt to write lyrics in any traditional sense, it's just random observation of a mundane life activity as told by some stoned dude.  Musically (ha ha ha) it's based on one note of bass (note I didn't say one note riff, I mean precisely that, one single solitary note) and chopsticks piano seemingly played by a five year old.  It drags on for over five minutes.  I can see "Scrapbooking," as a Dadaist joke, but that doesn't make it any less jawdroppingly painful to listen to.  The single, "I've Still Got You (Ice Cream)," is about eating ice cream.  That's it.  It's about eating ice cream.  I know they're trying to be funny, reducing the lowest common denominator to an even lower low, but there's only so far the bar can go before stoopid hipster cool curdles into genuinely stupid hipster self-conscious trash aesthetic smarminess.  Like those douchebags at Pitchfork (I'm sorry, redundancy) who gave it an 8.1 while praising its unlistenablity and banal stupidity as positives.  Smarmy hipster assholes who pretend that bad taste equals an above-it-all ironic appreciation of crappy kitsch - what are we gonna with'em?

No comments:

Post a Comment