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PISSED JEANS play Lee’s Palace April 16. See listings. Rating: NNNN
For utmost enjoyment of Pissed Jeans's fourth album, have the lyric sheet on hand. That's the best (and sometimes only) way to catch Matt Korvette's brilliant - frustrated, terrified, disappointed, ashamed - observations about life as a 30-year-old white punk rock dude in America, all screamed and growled and seething.
In Cafeteria Food, he imagines the glee he'd feel upon hearing of a certain co-worker's death. (He works as an insurance adjustor in Philadelphia.) He regrets the ways in which he's contributed to making girls feel out of place or not smart enough (Male Gaze). He's terrified of getting cancer (Health Plan) and asks his lover to imagine a less lazy version of him (Romanticize Me). Oh, and he's got goddamn cat allergies, too (Cat House).
The music matches his angst: the chaotic, grungy riffs sometimes charge and sometimes churn, the drums and bass relentlessly pummel, Korvette wails, grunts and spews. It's distancing stuff, though also hookier than earlier LPs. But it's the humanity and levity of the lyrics that'll really get you on board.
Top track: Vain In Costume