Since when did music become so serious? Seems like every day a new xerox of another poe-faced moody post-punk band that’s (unsurprisingly) trying to tell me society is ruined and in dire straights. Well you know what BRO (and I use that term liberally because dangly earrings and trench coats are usually a bit of a red light for the new wave of sad bros) I know the world is trashed, I live in it as well, and I’d rather spend the little free time I have listening to music that makes ME happy. Hell, even a Dire Straits record is preferable to that new JoyHausCure joint getting rinsed on radio 6.
But really what I wanna listen to over and over again is the latest Mean Jeans record, a band who literally made and album of jingles about beer, shit roadside restaurants and wiper fluid last year and still got rave reviews.
Coming in hot is the wonderfully titled GIGANTIC SIKE, another record about the futility of life, sure. But celebrating ignorance and having fun with it, after all, we all croak but we might as well party and love our friends until we do so.
So lets go! 11 cuts of that Mean Jeans denim and leather punk, a little dash of Ramones worship spliced with your (I can’t fathom why you’ve locked it in your skeleton closet until you’re wasted) love for pop-punk, played with the grit and spit of all the best garage bands that have knocked down doors and drank all the beers the past 10/15 years.
Coming in like a cannonball are the first three tunes! ‘Party Line’ a tune about hitting your friends up for a good time even though it’s been a while then hammering into ‘Basement Animal’ which is about isolation. This ain’t surface level lyricism about jacking off and being 23, Billy Jeans and Jeans Wilder still wanna say something even if it is a little sad and not always about the good times. ‘Just a trim (don’t buzz me alright)’ that was maybe co-written with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as if about the suck cut of society siphoning our souls.
The middle cuts slow up a little only in tempo and mood but not in power and gusto. ‘Stuck in a Head’ standing out the most and offering up the juxtaposition of overthinking stuff in a two-minute punk tune because, well, why the fuck not? When is it old enough to know better anyway?
When one song is literally about falling in a Florida bog (aptly titled ‘Fell Into a Bog’) and the other one is the howl we cry to all our friends when we link up (‘What the fuck is up tonight?’) – it’s nice to know everyone is a dumbass and just trying to find their way to the top with their buddies. This is the soundtrack to celebrating that notion, and given this journo’s recent hardships, it’s certainly why I’m making it a candidate for record of the year.
Mature is an icky word in music as it usually denotes a band starting to get boring and rehashing themselves. But, in this case, the brothers Jeans still bring the ruckus with the riffs but seem to be checking themselves (at least half the time) before wrecking themselves these days. ‘Turning Green’ is the lyrical presentation of looking at yourself in the mirror after partying for a decade and as Billy Jeans says in ‘Blackout Magazine’ “When you don’t know what happened last night. Look it up in Blackout Magazine.”
Indeed Youtube comments seem to be a barometer of whether a record bangs or not these days and perhaps one of the best things ever said about any song ever is for the last tune ‘Time Warp’ where viewer Jason Burke says “if this isn’t on the Bill and Ted 3 soundtrack…” what kind of threat is that? Is is a threat? Probably not but get Keanu and the other guy on the phone anyway. Get these boys paiiiiid. Ain’t no joke about this gigantic sike, shit’s slammin’
Well, there we go another success for the Mean Jeans and another rocking good time provided by Fat Wreck Chords. We hope you found it entertaining, whimsical and yet relevant, with an underlining revisionist conceit that belies the albums emotional attachments to the subject matter. I just hope you didn’t think it sucked.
Also, come to the bloody UK.