Sunday, 16 December 2012

Mean Jeans - On Mars

Mean Jeans, space aces.  Joey Ramone-warble and simplicity pop-punk songs. Maybe Personal and the Pizzas swapped their cruisers for rocketships, or at least dreamed of it. It's not a full commitment to a Masked Intruder-style gimmick though, there are still plenty of songs about partyin' and dumb teenage shite, so it just feels like an idiotpop Ramonescore house-party rippers got stoned at practice and started watching Carl Sagan documentaries. It's not all 80mph stuff either, slowing down a bunch for mellower concrete Crew-Cuts-Sh-Boom-Sh-Boom sweet bummer joints, wistful in that powerpop way, because we all know there is pretty much nothing more heartbreaking that a Ramones crooner. The whole album really is touched by that ruefulness, earthbound mum's-basement blues, guitar lines that seem to tail off sadly like chemtrails, repeating laments of "It's always gonna be the same" on Total Yo-Yo. A similar sense of thwarted escape and weekend-ache tedium pervades, even sticking what could be an anthemic call-to-arms in Don't Stop Partying at a mid-tempo trot, so a line like "There's a party in your heart" feels more like a sad shout on a walk home than a beer-soaked slapfight in a wrecked living room, calling to mind the this-town-blows backwater longing of Rick Spears and Rob G's Teenagers From Mars. It only really shakes off these nagging tugs of smalltown ruts when it looks to the sky, on Anybody Out There? and Life on Mars, because sometimes, amongst the beer and the weed and the Too Tough to Die bedroom dance-parties for one, the moon feels within reach but a bus out-of-town looks like an impossible dream. Hanging on astroman ambitions when you're 90% sure in these moments you haven't even got what it takes to be a man.

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