King Of Jeans is an incoherent, drunken mess of an album; stumbling through the room like the 15 year-old girl who snuck into the party and drank half a bottle of that green stuff that no one else dared to touch, borderline undecided whether she wants to vomit, shit herself or just give in to all moral and personal consequences and do both. It is the sound of indignity, shame and inconsolable misery. And it’s absolutely bloody phenomenal.
There’s nothing shady about these characters. Just their name alone will have already made you decide whether you’re interested or not. But if you do take the risk of spinning ‘King Of Jeans’ expect to be treated like a bitch. ‘False Jesii Part 2’ shoves a middle finger into your eye and ‘Half Idiot’ twists it around even deeper, and that’s just the first two tracks.
For the most part, it’s all about Matt Korvette’s oft-lethargic drawl that sneers across these tracks more than Clint Eastwood in a strip club. At times it could be Nick Cave up front, offering a rather offensive take on the humdrums of life, but when Korvette really lets rip its like hearing a tractor run over a mountain of gristle and bone. “I won’t let anything get in my way,” he leers on ‘Pleasure Race’. Quite honestly I would advise you to let Korvette pass with as much room as he desires.
But to harp on about Korvette would be a mistake when the rest of the band does just as good a job of transposing that feeling of violent sickness into musical themes. ‘Request For Masseuse’ has a bassline that would have scored Randy Huth the job of taking Nick Oliveri’s place in QOTSA had it been played at the auditions, although Josh Homme probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the sensation of his arse collapsing in on itself.
Meanwhile Bradley Fry’s guitar work is frenetic, caustic and most importantly, absolutely rocking. The riffs come thick and fast, rattling through the brain like bullets in a Rambo film, but when they do slow down it’s to maximum effect – ‘Spent’ and it’s languishing guitar line coils and tenses with a devilish lick, creating such a sense of despondency that it doesn’t really need Korvette to drag us into his mire of failed personal reinventions and no-hope attitude, because we’re already there.
‘King Of Jeans’ is that rare thing: something so horrifically ugly on the outside that it takes on a form of transcendent, unfathomable beauty that you just have to ‘get’. People will hear this and hate it; others will hear it and end up hating themselves; but some will hear it and fall in love with Pissed Jean’s morbid, yet wonderful, outlook on the world.