Features | Awards

The Anti-Congeniality Award

By Clayton Purdom | 14 December 2009

Pissed Jeans :: King of Jeans
(Sub Pop; 2009)

Pissed Jeans were already a vitriolic band, but on King of Jeans they took a gigantic step, um, downward, holding a bright torch of sludge-thrash awfulness aloft in a range of the sonic spectrum too often dredged in either stolidity or irony. King of Jeans is neither and both, fully: like Christ. The record reeks of flies and dogshit and dried ejaculate and canned Italian foods, too funny to be exactly harrowing but still this sort of deep penetrating stare into skull-emptying sadness. Case in point: “Dream Smotherer,” the third track, which might qualify as sonic deicide. From the feedback spiral that opens it to the instantly legendary coda, the band exudes ambitiously homicidal intentions, just glazed-smile killing spree shit. Later on the album they indulge themselves with big squalls of Black Flag shredding (“Dominate Yourself”) and tighten up for an anthemic Minor Threat stomp (“R-Rated Movie”), but nowhere else do they so fully realize this blood-letting duality. Rarely does getting a hook stuck in your head seem so literal a threat.