Philly punks Pissed Jeans have been perfecting the art of sardonicism for years now, and so far, they’ve shown no signs of slowing down. From the ridiculous music videos to the wild live shows, their sneering, cynical approach to rock & roll has always set them apart from their Sub Pop label mates. It’s even reflected in their new press photos, which feature the band taking up about 5% of a glorified shot of the Kurt Vile mural. They’re currently gearing up for the release of their fifth album Why Love Now, and in preparation, they’ve shared its first single.
With its churning, guttural bass line, tom-heavy drum pattern, and Matt Korvette’s unhinged vocal delivery, “The Bar Is Low” is classic Pissed Jeans. With that being said, though, there’s a bit of a hard rock influence creeping in here, especially with Bradley Fry’s Zeppelin-esque guitar work during the verses. Lyrically, Korvette wrestles with feelings of undeserved self-esteem as he’s praised for the bare-minimum of human decency. The people around him haven’t “climbed a mountain”; hell, they’ve “barely walked up a hill”, but they’re proud of themselves nonetheless, and he’s sick and tired of it.
Luckily for Pissed Jeans, “The Bar Is Low” is anything but glorified mediocrity. Why Love Now is out February 24th, and it’s shaping up to be another red-blooded installment to their already robust catalog. Stream the track below, and when you’re done, take a mental inventory of how good you feel about yourself and decide whether or not you deserve it.
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