Mean Jeans – On Mars

January 01, 1970

(Dirtnap Records)


The casual listener might easily
dismiss Portlandia’s Mean Jeans off-handedly as some cheap knockoff of the
Ramones, given how much the trio looks, walks and sounds like that duck. Sheer
quackery, they might say. The Ramones presented an element of danger with their
black leather personas, but when they pulled out their switchblades and flicked
them open, they were only switch-combs. If Jerry Lee, Elvis and Carl Perkins
were the meat and muscle of rock ‘n’ roll, then I guess that the unholy
triumvirate of Iggy and The Stooges, Lou and the Velvet Underground, and the
Ramones would be the skin and bones of punk rock. 


God bless Joey and the boys for
what they wrought, but it must be said that a great portion of their songs
sounded a lot alike, album after album. That is where the comparison of the
Mean Jeans with them ends, because the Mean Jeans only seem to use that
well-known sound as a launching platform and then show off their more diverse
and melodic songwriting skills. They land between being less Ramones-y than the
Riverdales and more than Nobunny. On
their second LP, comes off pretty damn well for a 3-chord band that
hates practicing and the fact that it was just an at-home DIY project that
never saw the waffled walls of a studio. The songs have a synaptic snap, with
kick-up-your-heels machine gun rhythms and tense war-drum beats. Original
members Billy Jeans and Jeans Wilder carry on their punk pop party sounds with
new member, Jr. Jeans slapping bass. Attitude plays a big role in doing punk justice,
and the Mean Jeans come across with a lot of it, all snotty. There’s no irony
in the fact they have a song called “Don’t Stop Partying.”


DOWNLOAD: “Don’t Stop Partying,” “Nite of the Creeps,” and
“Crummy Crummy.” BARRY ST. VITUS


Hear On Mars in its entirety on Bandcamp:

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