There is something lazy about this album which really bothers me. They have so much raw power and creativity that really reached a high peak on their previous release, King of Jeans. However, Honeys seems to pander to too many genre clichés, as is the case with opening track, ‘Bathroom Laughter’. The open salvo promises something really sickening and white knuckle, but instead it descends into ‘rapid fire punk vocal/tom-tom drum beat riff no.4’, which is taken from the ‘Big Book of how to play Punk Rock’. To take another example, the majority of ‘Loubs’ is taken from the ‘How to write a convincing Grunge riff. Part I’, and that’s wildly annoying because Pissed Jeans are better than that. They don’t need to play lip service to any genre because they can, and have, produced music that panders to nothing.
Perhaps I am being a bit harsh here. This album is good. And when it’s good, it’s REALLY good. ‘Chain Workers’ wretched drone crawls under the skin and makes it inch, the off- kilter riff and groove of ‘You’re Different (In Person)’ is surprisingly infectious, and it’s really hard not to raise a middle finger and head bang along to ‘Health Plan’. It’s just when the laziness comes back in, it drags the whole record down so hard. I actually feel gutted even writing that.
However, if you can get over the clichés (which, admittedly, I probably should) and just enjoy this album for what it is: a riot of pain and discomfort, then this is an album you’re going to put on in a smoke-filled scuzz of a party and love every grungy riff and every punk beat that oozes out of your speakers.
Danny Juán Garrod
Honeys is out on February 11th through Sub-Pop.