On their sixth full-length album, Pissed Jeans are as unruly as ever. Bringing out a new batch of their noise-rock/hardcore punk brew, the band bring new insight into their world of bleak, sarcastic wit.

Opener ‘Killing All the Wrong People’ barrages through its runtime of just over two minutes, bass writhing under the epidermis, guitars tense and urgent and vocalist Matt Korvette gravel voiced as he details a world in which the innocent die and monsters seem to survive when they’re the ones who cause all the problems. The band a relentless unit crashing out into a garbled, noisy vocal sample.

‘Anti-Sapio’ follows, more melodic and anthemic than the opener. Short and to-the-point, with the band poking fun at people who talk about “finding intelligence sexy,” calling it “just another insecurity” and declaring themselves “anti-sapio sexual.” This sardonic middle finger to self-serious ‘intellectuals’ breaks down a stomping outro where the bass and drums hold down the fort as the guitar crackles and squeals into the song’s conclusion.

Pissed Jeans tackle a wide net of issues on Half Divorced. From overprotective parents on ‘Helicopter Parent’ to the disillusionment of late-stage capitalism on the infectious hook of ‘Cling to a Poisoned Dream.’ Throughout, the band look at each tongue-in-cheek, eyes rolled and with a relatable mindset of apathy, frustration and bemusement.

‘Everywhere is Bad’ is a takedown of people’s fantasy that it’s just where they live that’s shit, running down a list of cities worldwide and the reasons why they aren’t worth living in, saying “I’m sorry if that makes you sad” and even running down fictional locations to really kick you out of the fantasy that there is somewhere out there that doesn’t completely suck.

‘Junktime’ is a dystopian look at being distracted by the atrocities that are constantly going on by mindless entertainment. The song erupts in geysers of guitar noise, coming unglued on the hook. Cataloguing a world where vegetables are grown out of plastic and people sit unaware of flames raging over their street, the lyrics are at once hopelessly bleak and darkly funny in the way that Dead Kennedys songs always were.

On Half Divorced, Pissed Jeans comfortably tread between 80s-style hardcore at terminal velocity, unhinged noise rock and danceable sections not unlike that of Viagra Boys hits such as ‘Sports’ or ‘Ain’t No Thief.’  What you get is track dependent, ‘Alive with Hate’ is a fairly straightforward hardcore that devolves into screeching guitars, ‘Seatbelt Alarm Silencer’ is relentless in its breakneck speed, stopping only to reconfigure and come back faster.

‘Moving On’, the album’s closing track, is the cleanest of the bunch. The rough edges are still there, it is a Pissed Jeans album after all, but the band tuck in all their excess for what could be mistaken for a radio hit. It’s a nice way to end the record, with their least punishing number of the bunch.

Half Divorced isn’t the most essential Pissed Jeans record, but in my opinion it’s a strong punch across the jaw that felt eye-opening and necessary on first listen. For those new to the band, it’s an in route to one of the most bludgeoning punk bands going.

Pissed Jeans; Half Divorced – Out 1st March 2024 (Sub Pop)

Jeans – Moving On (Official Video) (youtube.com)