Matt Korvette is hot and sweaty. The rubbery, often shirtless frontbeast of Pissed Jeans has just raced home from a rec league basketball game, his Wednesday night ritual. It’s been just a few days since the LeBron-less NBA Finals came to a sputtering close, the Orlando Magic cut up by head surgeon/supervillain/no friend of Korvette’s, Kobe Bryant. “To me,” says Korvette, “that guy just seems dead inside.” The sentiment couldn’t paint a prettier parallel to the under-stimulated psychochasm Korvette’s lyrics call home. Funny, sad, bang-your-head-against-the-wall tales from the daily grind, every pixel roars in tandem with the power chord bludgeonings that circle and writhe behind him.
Founded in Allentown, Pennsylvania, just a 60-mile hop north of Philly, Pissed Jeans are guys you know. Guys with mood swings, wandering minds and soul-pinching commutes. But they don’t get together just to watch the playoffs (fact: drummer Sean McGuinness was in the same suburban Philadelphia high school speech class as Bryant) or toss a couple of dogs on the backyard grill. They meet up on Saturday nights to wail, to sweat off the week’s toxins in hardcore-steeped clatter. Monday through Friday, Korvette works for an insurance company investigating injured workers, but “it’s not because I’m stuck in some horrible cubicle that I make Jeans’ music,” Korvette says. “Writing this stuff is like having someone to talk to, like if a parent died and you just needed a good cry. You need to cry and then you have and it’s nice.”
The foursome is set to unfurl King of Jeans, their third full-length and second on former grunge epicenter, Sub Pop. It’s a heavy set of indigestive, dissonant tone poems that a wayward twenty-something could use in a funk. Tracks like “Dream Smotherer” and “False Jesii Part 2” take themselves apart quarter-pound riff by quarter-pound riff, Korvette dry heaving observations on having no time and too much time, on having nothing to do and nothing to look forward to.
“I’ve read about how the old grandpa moves in with the family and no one gives him any jobs to do. Even if he’s not 90 years old, he’ll die a lot quicker that way. But if you’re like, ‘Grandpa, you have to get the mail every day and make sure the garbage can’s not overflowing,’ you get him locked in with a purpose. I don’t know what my mission is right now. I haven’t thought about that in a while. I’ve been too busy doing shit.” Like shooting hoops or screaming until you’ve sloughed off your blues for one day.
Stream: Pissed Jeans, King of Jeans