AT YOUR ZITS IN THE MIRROR FOR AN HOUR STRAIGHT AND CRYING
WHILE STONE SOBER
I was sitting in the apartment last November drinking an afternoon
tall boy (Wew! Yeah! Tall Boy!) when I heard a mighty thump
hit hard against my door. I ran like a schoolboy runs after
dropped knickers, opened said door and watched in slow motion
as a weighed down record mailer fell right upon my feets.
I saw the return address of Toms River, New Jersey and knew
immediately it was from the good dudes at the Parts Unknown
label who I’ve blabbed on and on about in previous Blastitude
columns in regards to the fine job they do in reissuing obscure
jams from Hardcores’ days of yore. The package held
the vinyl re-issue of Vile’s ’82 LP ‘Solution’
(More on that at a later date) as well as a batch of seven
inchers from current HC bands Parts Unknown had put out. They
were all potent platters of vitriol, but the last one I got
to was this bizarre looking big holed single with a ‘Diver
Down’ looking cover. With what little info I could scrape
from the minimal packaging, I came to the conclusion the band’s
name was Pissed Jeans and settled in for some more honest-to-the-gills
speed bashing. But once the needle hit and the shit brown
riffdom of the track ‘Throbbing Organ’ came lurching
outta the cones, I knew this was no glory daze of ’81
type unit. So many fanboy references flooded my noggin. Drunks
With Guns, Brainbombs, Church Police, The Controllers, etc.
But this wasn’t no mere xeroxing of these units done
by a buncha poseurs with good record collections and bad breath.
This was the real deal zapped-to-hell insanity shit that practically
foams off your box. As the afternoon became the evening and
the tallboys emptied themselves into my gullet, I rode Pissed
Jeans' vinyl pony way into the dark of the morning. Before
I passed out from exhaustion and alcohol poisoning, I decided
I hadda know who these fucks were and I hadda know real now
like. In no less than two days time I saw the band perform
live (A swirlingly loud sexually deprived angst ridden blast)
and met all four members in all their surprisingly squeaky
clean glory. What can I say? I have that kinda clout. Once
I learned they hail from Allentown, Pennsylvania it all made
perfect sense. The burg is home to Jeff The Pigeon, the swingenest
party palace/performance space on the east coast. It’s
the kinda place that would make both William Goldman and Super
Dave Osbourne proud. Kids gobbling pills like Chiclets…Fencing
matches with gigantic cardboard mailing tubes…Hot young
girls writhing in sexual glory all over a whiskey soaked floor…
Boston ‘82 style pig piles…Tinsel fights…
Supermarket trolley races… this is all common stuff
on a normal night at the Pigeon. Then there’s all the
young, fucked-up, loud and proud combos centered around the
Pigeon. Air Conditioning, Pearls And Brass, Bread Machine,
The New Flesh, The Dreaded Beign, etc. Pissed Jeans (of course)
fit the whole ‘scene’ like a red rubber glove.
They are currently gearing up for a tour of the southern-ish
region of our country with the mighty Air Conditioning. If
this monsters of white noise rock tour comes through your
town to party it down, be sure to weld a metal plate into
your bung to prevent anal leakage/ rapeage. It could be severe.
And then there’s the imminent release of their debut
LP ‘Shallow’ on the Parts Unknown label, an event
I’m practically heaving frogs over in anticipation.
Interview done rather lazily via the electronic mail in May
of this year.
first and foremost, in one hundred words or less, what does
Unit Pride (1) mean to you?
the antithesis of Pissed Jeans, since we would never brag
to be proud of our units. Although I think the pencil-drawn
Step Forward logo (2) speaks volumes. A skinny bald-headed
albino in cut-off shorts with his hands behind his back with
his knees buckled, probably about to fall into a giant ravine.
Have you ever seen that guy?
yeah, of course! But my question is who is the coolest looking/most
retarded looking Straight Edge mosh guy…the Step Forward
logo dude or the dude on the cover of the ‘X Marks The
Spot’ compilation? (3)
Step Forward guy looks great and his pose is totally confounding,
but the X Marks The Spot guy is delivering a punch and has
a bit of a hunchback…or maybe just an oversized torso.
I guess if I had to write a book about one of the characters,
I’d choose the Step Forward guy. But if I had to go
steal a bunch of hamburgers and throw them in a dumpster,
I’d want the X Marks The Spot guy to come along.
enough Tom Fuckery, let’s get down to why Pissed Jeans
got together and how you know each other. Why did you decide
to start playing this fucked up music?
all play in The Gate Crashers (4), but we all play different
instruments in Pissed Jeans. I’ve been playing in bands
for years with these guys. Three of us went to Nazareth High
School together. As I remember it, the idea for Pissed Jeans
was spawned on a drive with the Crashers from Vegas to L.A.
in between sweaty sing-a-longs to ‘WWF The Music Volume
Two’ (Probably the only decent thing Simon Cowell (5)
ever produced) The idea was to start a different kinda Punk
band focused on dead ended carnal cravings, sexual depression…that
sort of thing. Mainly we just wanted to bludgeon the listener
will dull, monotonous droning rock music that just sucks the
energy out of you, the musical equivalent to watching a toilet
flush. We first got going under the name Unrequited Hard-On
but for some reason, we decided to proceed as Pissed Jeans
instead, probably just to keep from limiting ourselves to
side-project status (If that makes any sense) I was most inspired
at the time by a band called the Whittingtons, who released
a single on the Italy-based Goodbye Boozy label called ‘I’m
Young, Dumb and Full of Cum’ I’ve never actually
heard the record, but the mental image of the record helped
me wrap my head around what we were looking to go for.
there any documentation of Unrequited Hard-On?
recorded a very rough demo which included all the songs that
appear on the Pissed Jeans demo, with the exception of ‘Night
Minutes’. There were only a few of them sold and I think
five or so went to some random U.K. distro.
seems lazy rock critic peeps like to compare you guys to Fang
(6), Drunks With Guns (7) and Flipper (8). I really have no
problem with that, but it seems to me you guys are more into
riffs than those bands. Am I on the right track like Gary
Coleman or am I missing the boat completely?
man, I think you’re definitely on track! I mean, I guess
we fit in the same boat as Fang, Flipper or Drunks With Guns,
but we’re definitely not on drugs. While those dudes
escaped reality and zonked out on all sorts of uppers and
downers, Pissed Jeans is more about staring at your zits in
the mirror for an hour straight while crying stone sober.
I think we’re definitely riff oriented. We’ll
get more stoked on listening to the first Goatsnake (9) record
than a Zeni Geva (10) b-side. I think once the LP comes out
and people hear it, the descriptions might start to vary.
It’s not just straight ahead chug like the seven inch.
Probably the biggest influence on Pissed Jeans that everyone
misses is Stickmen With Rayguns (11), probably the best group
to ever come out of Texas that didn’t feature Bushwick
Bill and Willie D
don’t think there is a band more perfect to me than
Stickmen With Rayguns. Lyrically…musically…everything.
Their song ‘Scavenger of Death’ was one of the
first Punk songs I ever heard and it’s always stuck
with me. The sound of Pissed Jeans also comes from many of
the early 80’s noisy Punk bands. Bands like Fang, Flipper,
No Trend (12), Ivy Green (13), (the Australian) X (14), Drunks
With Guns, the Shattered Faith 7” (15) and the G.R.I.M.
(16) all had a huge influence on the music written.
did you dudes get from being into early 90’s Hardcore
stuff to digging on the obscure stuff from the early 80’s
cannon of Punk/HC? Was there a certain ‘old dude’
who turned you onto it or what?
was lucky enough to have an obsessive Punk Rock record collecting
neighbor who kinda turned our whole gang onto Agnostic Front
(17), Capitalist Casualties (18), The Abused (19) and Crossed
Out (20) years before we could even drive. After that initial
splash I mainly obsessed over anything obnoxious and loud
and slowly stumbled into the taste I have today. Having Double
Decker Records (21) and the endless musical knowledge pit
named Jaime Holmes certainly played an invaluable role in
my musical development.
my sister’s friend’s brother Carl lived up the
road from me and was way into Punk. He worked at the local
video store and one day I was there to rent some eight or
sixteen bits and he was asking me what I was listening to
on my CD player. At the time I was listening to Sepultra (22)
and we got started listening to music. He eventually made
me a mixed tape that had Agnostic Front ‘United Blood’(23),
Agnostic Front “Victim in Pain’(24), as well as
Life’s Blood(25), early Madball (26) and Cause For Alarm
seems you guys are sorta on ‘your own plane’ in
some way. You’re not quite arty enough to play an illegal
Brooklyn loft space but you seem too weird to play a VFW Hall
with current HC bands. So where does Pissed Jeans go? Do you
feel accepted? Do you care?
definitely think you’re on point with that one. Honestly
though, we’ve had such a warm reception so far, I’m
trying to figure out what we’re doing wrong. I can’t
understand why, but we’ve only been met with favorable
responses. We have shared bills with The Oath (28) and not
got booed off stage by dudes just looking to mosh and we’ve
played shows with Prurient (29) and had the intellectual ear
bleeder types stick around for our full set. We’re hitting
the road with Air Conditioning in June and I think we compliment
each other nicely and then we can get a better feel of outsider’s
responses from that. I’m sure we’ll be playing
in front of Punk crowds and noise crowds but it really doesn’t
matter to me…so long as there’s a couple of ladies
in the audience. I think Jeff the Pigeon might have spoiled
us as the kids go nuts for anyone. Whether it’s the
Adolescents-style punk of Clorox Girls or the Caroliner side-project
Tarantism, the crowd gets in their face and gets wine on their
t-shirts. It’s been a really fertile environment with
Pearls and Brass and Air Conditioning playing with us all
the time, so we never really spend too much time wondering
what the rest of the world will be thinking.
what’s the deal with this debut LP? Is it recorded yet?
Is it holy?
it’s all recorded! We recorded it in February of this
year and hopefully the compact disc version will be out for
our tour in June with the vinyl to follow. Eight tracks, over
thirty minutes. Way heavier and out there than the single.
It gives a much more understandable picture of what we’re
about. After that, we’re doing a split twelve inch with
Pearls and Brass.
talked before about you guys maybe finding it hard to ‘fit
in’ somewhere. Who are some bands Pissed Jeans feel
affiliation with and why?
so many bands out there that I totally dig. Dudes that I can
vouch for musically and personally would be Air Conditioning,
Pearls & Brass, Prurient, The Intelligence, The New Flesh,
Leprechaun Catering, Career Suicide, Clorox Girls, Pay Toilets….I
could go on and on. I’ve seen them all live and they’ve
all totally destroyed. I’m not sure if there’s
any specific theme that runs through all the bands I listed,
except that maybe that all seem to have specific influences
but have created a distinct sound all their own. Plus, I’m
pretty sure I’ve moshed to all of them.
would be the ultimate bill Pissed Jeans could play with any
bands living or dead?
if we got squeezed between the Zero Boys (30), Hanatarash
(31), Ivy Green and G.I.S.M (32). with Hans and Florian (33)
deejaying between sets. The show would take place on a beach
and after the show we’d all go hang-gliding with Father
my final question, if your father was dying in front of you
and the only way to revive him was to eat a turd wrapped in
a hot dog bun, would you do it?
In a heartbeat!
CONDITIONING/PISSED JEANS TOUR DATES
6/03, Friday - Bethlehem, PA
@ The Globe w/ Verwustung, The Headaches
6/04, Saturday - Baltimore, MD
@ Charm City Art Space w/ Double Dagger, Fascist Fascist
6/05, Sunday - Virginia Beach, VA @ TBA
6/06, Monday - Roanoke, VA @ TBA
6/07, Tuesday - Asheville, NC @ TBA
6/08, Wednesday - Nashville, TN
@ Springwater w/ Cider, The Darvocets, American Waste
6/09, Thursday - Lexington, KY @ TBA
6/10, Friday - Pittsburgh, PA
@ Brave New World w/ Clorox Girls, the Observers
6/11, Saturday - Washington, DC
@ Warehouse Next Door w/ Navies
6/12, Sunday - Philadelphia, PA @ The Khyber w/ Otesanek
Unit Pride were a Straight Edge Hardcore band that existed
all too briefly in the late 80’s. Named after
John Dickson’s novel on the Korean War, this Northern
Californian power units’ only release was the
‘Then And Now’ 7” e.p. (released on
the Step Forward label in December of 1988). They sounded
exactly like Youth of Today, looked like a high school
basketball team from Nebraska, and will forever be cooler
than Lightening Bolt. Their entire recorded output was
released in the CD and LP format a few years back by
the Mankind label. Apparently the singer for Unit Pride,
Eric Ozenne went on to be in Redemption ’87 and
The Nerve Agents. I have no fucking clue what those
bands sound like and I would like to keep it that way.
Step Forward made these horrendous shirts that said
‘Drug Free Youth’ all over them and whatnot.
They were totally gay and I’m proud to say I never
wore one. As far as the logo guy goes, here’s
a link to give you somewhat of an idea of the logo dude
Matt is talking about…check him out in the lower
right hand side of the back cover of the Unit Pride
The ‘X Marks The Spot’ compilation 7”
was released in the summer of 1988 on Smorgasbord Records
and featured three Connecticut Straight Edge Hardcore
bands—Up Front, Wide Awake and the highly underrated
Pressure Release. As far the cover goes, here ya go--
The Gate Crashers--http://www.whitedenim.com/
Simon Cowell is some asshole I suppose.
Fang were an acid damaged Punker unit from Berkeley,
California who emerged (somehow) from the ashes of the
bizarre Connecticut teen punk ensemble Tapeworm. Fang
put out one mind bending 7” (Anyone whose got
a spare to trade, get in touch) and two excellent 12”s’
in their time. Everything after 1984 is more or less
crap. Fang gained some notoriety in the early 90’s
when their vocalist, Sammy Town, was incarcerated for
murdering his girlfriend Dixie. Selected discography—Enjoy
The View/Yukon Fang 7” (Fang, 1981) Landshark
12” (Boner, 1982) Where The Wild Things Are (Boner,
Drunks With Guns came from St. Louis, Missouri in the
mid-80’s with connections to the mean spirited
Punk/Hardcore units Sacred Order and White Pride. Their
wall of sludge guitar sound and die-fucking-die aesthetic
was inspirational to a generation of people who knew
the unconsciously mean were the cream of humankind.
Any and all records from this unit released between
1985-1990 are worthy of your time and money.
My brother once dressed Flipper up in make-up and drove
them around in his station wagon while they blasted
Leonard Cohen. True story.
Goatsnake- “I” (Rise Above, 1999)
A footnote about Zeni Geva would take too much time
and I’m too lazy. Make up your own.
Stickmen With Rayguns were a Punk unit from Fort Worth,
Texas in the 80’s fronted by that late, great,
always-cramming-something-up-his-butt type of guy, Bobby
Soxx. Their distinct brand of thoroughly loud and antagonistic
terror rock made them legend among all those with social
problems. Check out the ‘Some People Deserve To
Suffer’ CD collection that came out on Emperor
Jones a few years back and give your rug a tug in honor
of ole Bobby.
No Trend were from Washington D.C. in the early 80’s
and did their best to distance themselves from the rest
of the clean cut Hardcore D.C. scene by playing a twisted,
Flipper-esque brand of dirge Punk. Their track ‘Mass
Sterilization Caused By Venereal Disease’ was
a big hit on college radio when I was eleven and still
holds up to this day. Teen Beat put out a CD awhile
back compiling all the material they released on their
own before signing to Touch and Go in 1985. It is entitled
‘Teen Love—Early Hits’ and is relatively
cheap and you should buy it. End of story. Or is it?
Check this -- http://users.erols.com/
Ivy Green was a notorious Punk unit from Holland who
were heavy on the slobber. They somehow managed to squeak
out a couple disturbed singles and an LP on Dutch Warner
Brothers in the late 70’s, but were soon dumped
by the label. They continued to exist in one form or
another until the late 80’s when they called it
quits. Their catalogue of work has never been officially
re-issued and needs to be BIG TIME.
The Australian X (not to be confused with the more popular
band named X from L.A.) were formed in the late 70’s
and put out two LP’s, the self released ‘Aspirations’
(X Music, 1979) and ‘At Home With You’ (Major,
1985) Both of them were produced by the legendary Aussie
guitarist Lobby Loyde (The Wild Cherries, The Coloured
Balls, Rose Tattoo, etc.) and they will absolutely scorch
the hair off your chest. Even yours, over there ma’am.
Check out the CD re-ish of ‘Aspirations’
on AmRep and wear a vest.
Shattered Faith – ‘I Love America’/’Reagan
Country’ 7” (Posh Boy, PBS9) 1981
The G.R.I.M. (The initials stood for ‘Getting
Revenge In ‘Merica’) came out of the Oxnard,
California Hardcore scene (Nardcore dude!) in the early
80’s. They exhibited a very strange teenaged Saccharine
Trust vibe on their debut 12”, released on the
ESP of Hardcore, Mystic Records, in 1984. They appeared
on a few of the Mystic compilations plus they released
a second LP in 1988 entitled ‘Face of Betrayal’
(Alchemy) that I have to admit complete ignorance on,
which is probably for the best.
Capitalist Casualties, along with Crossed Out, Infest,
Spazz, etc. were part of that whole Slap-A-Ham scene
in California in the early 90’s and they were
pretty fucking good, man. Check out the discography
CD that came out on Six Weeks last year to rediscover
those wacky 90’s with all its power violence and
The Abused were one of the most brutal units to come
out of the early 80’s NYHC scene. Their ‘Loud
and Clear’ 7” (Abused Records, 1983) is
one of the hardest sounding/looking documents in NYHC
history, but you don’t fucking care.
Crossed Out fucking rule. That is all.
I’m not even going to touch this one. Aren’t
they like Ethno-metal or something?
Agnostic Front –‘United Blood’ 7”
(self released, 1983)
Agnostic Front-‘Victim In Pain’ (Ratcage,
Life’s Blood were on of the truly unique units
to work it’s way into the NYHC scene in the late
80’s. Fiercely outspoken and musically pants shitting,
they were (and still are) one of my personal faves from
that era. If you can track down their eight song 7’
e.p. ‘Defiance’ (Combined Effort, 1988)
you’ll be moshin’ in no time.
Madball are great and I like them.
Cause For Alarm were/are another band from the first
wave of NYHC. They are still around and continue to
put out records, but the only one I can recommend in
good conscience is their eight song self-released 7”
from 1983. Stand as one!!!
Das Oath are a present day Hardcore band that contains
members of Charles Bronson, a HC band from the mid 90’s
that everyone told me was good, but I was too busy smoking
weed and listening to Hawkwind to really pay attention.
Much like C.B., everyone tells me Das Oath are good
too, but I’m too busy smoking pot and listening
to Mangoon to really pay attention.
Prurient is nom de plumcake for Dominick Fernow. Or
as I like to call him, ‘D.D. The emo noise machine’
(The extra ‘D’ is for ‘dominance’)
Growling and frantic with bizarre poppy elements, The
Zero Boys were one of those quintessential out-of-nowhere
(Indiana to be exact) units that could of only popped
up in the early 80’s of America. Check out their
debut LP ‘Vicious Circle’ (Nimrod, 1982)
to get a real grasp on their buzz. Hey…anyone
got that ‘History of the Zero Boys’ cassette
that came out on Affirmation in ’84? If so, let’s
get to swapping trade lists and not spit.
I hear they make noisy noise and are legendary for slinging
poop or something. How quaint.
G.I.S.M. started somewhere around 1982 in Tokyo, Japan.
They became quite synonymous for violent and confrontational
live shows. Anyone who has seen video footage of these
shows will attest to their utter brutality. They continued
to play and record up until guitarist Randy Uchida passed
away sometime in 2002. Pretty much any G.I.S.M material
you can lay your hands on is worth it, so do so. ‘Endless
Blockades For The Pussyfooter’ dude!
Two fanboys who should get a room.
God damn it…it’s late and I’m hungry
and you expect some kinda great story about Father Yod?
You most likely know the whole shmeel already. Send
it in an envelope to me and I’ll run it like Dave
from Connecticut. Good night…