Mean Jeans- Are You Serious?

Mean Jeans- Are You Serious

There is a fine line between being influenced by a musician and manifesting a carbon copy of their style. Unfortunately, this is exactly what the ridiculously named group Mean Jeans have done. The album, Are You Serious?, asks a credible question as to what kind of affect these joke garage rockers were trying to have on listeners. Going through each track it is clear to see that this Portland band has an uncanny resemblance to that of The Ramones. And though some of the tracks are infectious and skillful, there is nothing that would suggest that this band has any potential to develop their own sound.

The album starts out with the frisky track “Born on a Saturday Night”, that showcases the band’s adolescent attitude towards life. This is displayed by vocalist Jeans Wilder singing hurriedly “I was born on a Saturday night, my momma said it would be alright she was wrong and then she died”. While the lines may be ridiculous and repetitive, the opening track actually is quite enjoyable and showcases that the band possesses musical talent. From here on in (with a few minor exceptions) each song sounds unbelievably similar to one another, not just instrumentally, but also in lyrical style.

The first problem occurs with the horrendous “Rats Roaches and Jeans” which sounds like a broken record involving the repetition of the three title words, and while this album does clearly promote some comedic value, it is never successful. The next big issue involves the tracks “Party Animal” and “No Brainer” which seem to be the accept same song with one different guitar lick in “No Brainer” and the substitution of the line “I’m a party animal” to “I’m a no brainer”. And there seems to be other situations such as this throughout most of the album as tracks sound strikingly alike.

Despite these unfortunate issues, one thing that Mean Jeans does undeniably right is create enthralling guitar melodies. One great example of this is in the track “Case Race”, where the guitar harmony in the bridge between the chorus and the second verse sounds like a country tune sped up into an elegant rock arrangement. The other highlight track of the album, “2 Much Cocaine”, exposes bass guitarist Jean Jeans’s talent as he tears through bass lines in the chorus’ of the track. Also notable in the track is the repetition of the word “too”, when they sing “She want too much cocaine) which gives a nostalgic feel to the song, almost as if it was written decades ago in the early rock era.

Though Are You Serious? certainly has some good components incorporated into it, the album feels stale and ultimately unnecessary. The Ramones are already a good enough garage rock group that it seems foolish to purchase a copy-cat group that lacks creativeness or style. Without any real flare and individual sound, it is hard to truly enjoy Mean Jeans for what they are, because the band is too busy trying to be someone else.