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There is nothing nice about Pissed Jeans’ fourth album Honeys. Its heavy doses of coarse, droning guitars and grimey vocals that sound akin to Birthday Party-era Nick Cave eliminate any semblance of the term ‘nice’ and instead make up a gut-wrenching 35 minutes of music. That’s not to say this is a bad thing at all. Pissed Jeans have gotten chaos down to a tee and Honeys is easily their best example of this.
The moment you hit play, you know what you’re in for. A low rumbling guitar morphs into a gritty screech in Bathroom Laughter, and then the vocals punch you right in the face. If your face didn’t cop enough of a beating from that ripper of an opener, You’re Different (In Person) turns up the intensity with even harsher vocals and a pace that is somewhat disorientating, but complementary to the purposefully unsettling nature of the album.
Cafeteria Food is one of the slower tempo songs on the record, but none of the vim and vigour is lost. It’s bleak, it’s droning, but it’s still right in your face. Were it not for the fairly clean production and coherent bellows, you could almost find this sludgey number nestled in a Swans’ album. There’s the same amount of soul-sucking dissonance, but a bit more accessibility.
There seems to be a method in this album’s madness; despite the apparent chaos, there’s enough structure to hold everything together. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart, but for those who can stomach filthy, erratic punk music, Honeys will have you completely immersed.
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