Let’s get this out of the way right out of the gate. It’s been almost a decade since I’ve written a record review and I may be a little rusty, so bear with me. Also, Mean Jeans‘ newest album, Jingles Collection, this is a really difficult album to review. I went through a few different ideas in figuring out what to do for this. Should I try to be weird and clever and review the products instead of the actual songs? Should I be super earnest and write about it like I work for Pitchfork? Or maybe I could just use the products while I’m listening to the songs and see if that inspires me. But in the end I just thought, fuck it, all that’s too gimmicky and hackneyed. I’ll just start typing and see what happens. So here we go.
Portland’s Mean Jeans has been putting out consistently great garagey pop-punk since 2009 and this album is no exception. It’s still all catchy singalongs and Ramones melodies only this time they’re singing about beer, cigs, and pizza instead of… well I guess the themes aren’t all that different. They’re still singing about those things, only it’s like they wrote all the ad campaigns for an alternate reality that doesn’t completely suck. It’s a concept album that could very easily come off as cheesy but it’s been a couple weeks since my first spin of the record and I still can’t get these tunes out of my head. They nail all the marks of not only a good pop-punk record but also a catchy as fuck commercial.
The songs are short on length, with the shortest track clocking in at just 12 seconds and the longest lasting a whopping 1:44. They’re also big on hooks; my 7 year old won’t stop singing “I need it all the time/ that delicious Mt. Dew” and he’s never even HAD Mt. Dew. There’s never a chance to get bored of anything. Honestly, I was sold with the album’s opening line of “You’re the love of my life, Coors Light.” It’s like they made a record specifically for me and the products I enjoy.
In this age of digital marketing I will be surprised if none of the products pick up a song to use in some
sort of online ad campaign. I picture Mean Jeans playing live in a kitchen with slow motion Kraft macaroni and cheese noodles falling on them a la The Aquabats Burger Rain video.
If you’re a fan of the band, you know what to expect and you’re gonna love it. If you’re not a fan of the
band, you’ll love it just because it’s so damn catchy and fun.