Pissed Jeans: Half Divorced [Album Review]

Pissed Jeans
Half Divorced
Sub Pop Records [2024]


Album Overview: Half Divorced is the 6th LP from Pissed Jeans and the follow-up to 2017’s Why Love Now. In the description for the album, lead vocalist Matt Korvette says, “Pissed Jeans is truly like an art project for us, which is what makes it so fun.” This lack of restraint rages within the songs that unexpectedly veer into classic hardcore punk territory. The album is unrelenting in its approach and is a chokehold that stays constant throughout its 30-minute runtime.

Musical Style: I love the band and how they want to leave nothing to the imagination. Korvette said, “Mainly we just wanted to bludgeon the listener with dull, monotonous droning rock music that just sucks the energy out of you, the musical equivalent to watching a toilet flush.” I’d say they continue to accomplish that with each release.

Evolution of Sound: Half Divorced continues the grimy buzzing of grievances and hard truths. It’s music that batters the human and the human spirit to death. Why Love Now had a bit more of a riff feel to it. Half Divorced is a capital “P” punk album. It’s the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtrack from hell!

Artists with Similar Fire: Pissed Jeans has been kicking their sludge punk around since 2005. Their outrageous stylings continue to worship artists such as Dead Kennedys, Bad Religion, Pink Lincoln, The Jesus Lizard, and Flipper. Their newer nods include artists such as METZ, A Foul Form from Osees, and Young Widows.

Pivotal Tracks: If one thing is true about Half Divorced, it really knows how to grab your attention and comes out swinging. “Killing All the Wrong People” is a brutal barrage that starts throwing punches immediately. “Helicopter Parent” draws big crunchy chords on everyone’s favorite parent, making children rearing their one personality trait. “Sixty-Two Thousand Dollars in Debt” is the millennial album that growls out, “every day, I’ll pay it down, so someday I’ll be sixty-one thousand dollars in debt.” “Everywhere is Bad” takes a cathartic shit on everything as Ohio to Pamplona is mentioned. “Junktime” follows, making it a fantastic mid-album one-two punch. The guitar dementedly buzzes while Korvette recounts garbage news, terrible TikTok shorts, and Facebook fake ads. “Moving On” ends the album with that anthemic twist that could only be delivered by Pissed Jeans. Is the band divorced from this life? Are they putting this shit behind them and saying they don’t have time for this? I believe they are.

Lyrical Strength: Pissed Jeans are tired of it all, and they want you to know it! The band was created on the basic premise of humorous, mundane fuckery. A quote I used in my Why Love Now review, and it continues to hold even more weight today. Korvette said, “A crucial thing, I think, for being a Pissed Jeans fan is just stemming from what I would take away from punk, which is, ‘Question things and think about things.’” 

Why Love Now (2017) / Shallow (2014) / Honeys (2013)

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Christopher Tahy
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