“A gigantic sike is an escape plan,” says Billy Jeans. “It’s the idea of being able to just drop a big ‘ol whoopsie-daisies on everything we’ve done up to this point — the songs, albums, the band’s existence, my own personal existence — and play the whole thing off as a goof. It’s a joke on the fantasy of sneaking out the backdoor on a crummy identity you didn’t necessarily mean to create.”
Gigantic Sike is Mean Jeans’ fourth full-length — or fifth, if you include last year’s Jingles Collection, a 23-song assemblage of unsolicited product jingles written for brands like Totino’s, Skoal and Mountain Dew. (“I think the jingles are our best work, but I guess you can’t mosh to windshield-wiper endorsement ballads,” Jeans explains.) The trio recorded Gigantic Sike‘s 11 songs over three days in Los Angeles in December 2018 (the first day was spent learning the tracks; the next two spent hammering them out). Like all prior Mean Jeans albums, Gigantic Sike falls into the category of three-chord, heavily Ramones-influenced party punk. Um? What else can I say? Thats pretty much it. Band loves The Ramones and plays fast catchy punk and does it well with a great production. What are the songs like? Well, The record opens with “Party Line,” and within the first 15 seconds, Billy Jeans sings about Coors Light, cocaine and mentions his actual phone number. Wow imagine AC/DC gave out Angus number on Whole Lotta Rosie. Loons.
‘Basement Animals’ whilst having the Ramones buzz saw guitar riffing away it has a real power pop melody and I’d say more so evident on ‘Just A Trim’. Sure The Ramones homage is such a mountain to get over but if you can get over that and just appreciate a band knocking out some punk rockin’ power poppin’ rock and roll then there is plenty to enjoy here thats for sure. Even if they never ever stray from the formula. I’m OK with that.
‘I Fell Into A Bog’ is inspired by the time drummer Jeans Wilder actually, literally fell into a Florida bog during the Fest and wasn’t located by the band until the next morning (true Story apparently) — ‘Gigantic Sike‘s’ mission statement is the idea of being able to run away from all of the stupid decisions you’ve made so far in life, ‘Time Warp’ is the exit strategy,” Billy Jeans says. “Siking a misled party life and taking the time warp to start over again is a theme in the record — laughing at what you’ve become and wondering if you can just warp your way out of it.” How can you not have a soft spot for that outlook on life?
At times I’m reminded of one of the finest exponents of wall of sound power pop punk rockers Los Pepes take ‘Stuck In My Head’ as an example and the rather good ‘Buddys Leaving’ before we head back out on the Dee Dee highway of ‘I Fell Into A Bog’. wait, What a synth? Sure is ‘What The Fuck Is Up Tonight’ is pushing the envelope. Nah not really but its a welcome sidestep.
Nowadays, Mean Jeans’ members are scattered across three different states, and they’re probably feeling the effects of being in a party-punk band for more than a decade. But Billy Jeans says despite the loose theme of Gigantic Sike, Mean Jeans isn’t going anywhere. “How do you function as a band when you live in three different cities?” he asks. “You gotta wing it. Make up the rules as you go. We never had band practice when we were all in Portland, so what our new strategy presupposes is, maybe that’s punk?” Maybe it is Maybe punk doesn’t even exist anymore in 2019 maybe its just a value or a nostalgia trip you like taking, who knows. Maybe its all things to all men and as long as there are bands like Mean Jeans knocking out snappy two to three minute punk rock tunes the world is still spinning and is still a pretty neat place to live. Party on dudes
Buy Gigantic Sike Here
Author: Dom Daley
The band head out on a nice tour of North America with the awesome Clowns and Teenage Bottlerockets
catch them at-
·06 Sep in Fort Worth, TX, US @ MASS (Fat Tour)
·07 Sep in Oklahoma City, OK, US @ 89th St (Fat Tour)
·08 Sep in Kansas City, MO, US @ Riot Room (Fat Tour)
·09 Sep in St. Louis, MO, US @ Fubar (Fat Tour)
·10 Sep in Omaha, NE, US @ Lookout Lounge (Fat Tour)
·11 Sep in Green Bay, WI, US @ Lyric Room (Fat Tour)
·12 Sep in Milwaukee, WI, US @ Company Brewing w/ Clowns
·13 Sep in Minneapolis, MN, US @ Turf Club (Fat Tour)