Pissed Jeans1100 Warehouse, Thursday, march 14
From the moment they took the stage at Thursday's Pitchfork showcase, a distinct air of anger surrounded Pissed Jeans. First, singer Matt Korvette told the crowd they still had time to go see David Bowie jam with the Foo Fighters. When that didn't work, the Allentown, Pa., quartet trotted out "It's So Easy" by Guns n' Roses. Maybe their version wasn't as infectiously vulgar as the original, but it packed plenty of outsider hostility nonetheless. Guitarist Brad Fry and bassist Randy Huth cut sullen, stoic figures at either side of the stage, providing a striking visual contrast with Korvette, who twisted himself around in the strobe lights like a man trying to punch his way out of his own skin. Somewhere, Darby Crash had to be smiling maniacally. The performance had all the hallmarks of a classic hardcore warehouse show, but Fry's tweaked-up skew on punk rock guitar and Korvette's grunting, growling vocals elevated the enraged discourse from predictable convention to fresh catharsis. The band's affirmation-by-negation philosophy was best summed up by the "stay away from doctors" refrain in "Health Plan" from their new album, Honeys. After all, no one knows how disturbed you are until you start screaming about it.