Fucked Up + Pissed Jeans
Mon Jan 12 2009
Photograph: David Waldman
Market Hotel; Tue 20
What happens to hardcore when the kids are actually psyched about the government? The style was born in the ’80s, when groups like Reagan Youth proudly spouted antiestablishment views. Unsurprisingly, the genre has enjoyed a renaissance in the Dubya years. But given the optimism greeting Obama’s ascension, one wonders if this Inauguration Day show—featuring two modern-hardcore luminaries visible enough to be reviewed in the Times, albeit with band names excised—might lack the requisite spirit of protest.
Vulgar monikers aside, neither band traffics in garden-variety antagonism. Fucked Up alludes to classic hardcore via rudimentary rhythms and barked vocals. But the Canadian outfit, whose singer, Pink Eyes, was recently photographed wearing a hand-scrawled waspy canuks [sic] for obama T-shirt, makes a point of defying the genre’s conventions. The Chemistry of Common Life, Fucked Up’s latest, flaunts intoxicating, near-psychedelic flourishes and ends up sounding more blissful than enraged.
Likewise, Pennsylvania’s Pissed Jeans builds on the menacing sludginess and twisted humor of late Black Flag. On songs like “Ashamed of My Cum” and “I’ve Still Got You (Ice Cream),” frontman Matt Korvette expresses a uniquely mundane sort of anguish—proof that even with a Democrat in the White House, punks will still have plenty to bitch about. (In classic hardcore style, the show’s venue changed just before press time; best to check toddpnyc.com to confirm it’s still on at Market Hotel.)