About Mean Jeans
An alliance of three punk rock goofballs who deliver fast, loud, and hooky tunes and revel in the pleasures of pizza, sex, and getting wasted, Mean Jeans have become one of the better-known bands on the Pacific Northwest punk scene for their beery but relentless attack, raucous live shows, and fierce commitment to the art of partying. Their music is straightforward no-frills punk with a dash of poppy tunefulness, plenty of energy, and very little in the way of serious intent, determined to generate laughs and pogoing in equal measure. The group sounded fine if rudimentary on their 2009 debut LP, Are You Serious?, but by the time they moved up to Fat Wreck Chords for 2016's Tight New Dimension, their attack had gotten just tight and powerful enough to make them a major presence in the world of funny-punk.
Mean Jeans were formed by guitarist and vocalist Billy Jeans (he won't divulge his full name, but his actual first name is Christian), who had earned a small degree of fame while living in Washington, D.C. as C-Rex, a deliberately absurd white rapper who sang over-the-top paeans to sex and drugs over cheesy synthesized beats. C-Rex got tired of doing deliberately low-grade hip-hop, and with his friend Andrew (who plays drums and uses the stage name Jeans Wilder), he moved to Portland, Oregon in late 2006 with an eye toward starting a punk rock band. Inspired by the Ramones and groups that clearly modeled themselves after them (most notably the Riverdales and the Queers), Christian and Andrew became Mean Jeans, and played out as a duo for close to a year until they crossed paths with Howie (known to his fans as Howie Doodat), a bassist who shared their musical interests and somewhat reckless fondness for chemical recreation.
Enough people began taking Mean Jeans seriously that in 2008 they struck a deal with Rehab Records, which issued their debut single, "Stoned 2 the Bone." A few months later, Dirtnap Records followed suit, releasing a 7" EP, License to Chill, as well as Mean Jeans' first full-length effort, 2009's Are You Serious? In 2010, Chicago's Trouble in Mind Records issued a Mean Jeans single, "Tears in My Beers" b/w "Cool 2 Drive," and in 2011, when they headed out on tour with the band Hollywood, the two acts cut a split single for Big Neck Records. By this point, Howie Doodat had left the group, and new bassist Jr. Jeans joined in time to help record the second Mean Jeans album, On Mars. Mean Jeans moved a few more steps up the punk rock ladder in 2016 with the release of Tight New Dimension, their first album for Fat Wreck Chords. Transforming commercial jingles into debatably high art, the band returned in 2018 with the cheeky 23-song LP Jingles Collection. After getting a consistent "don't call us, we'll call you" from the world of advertising, Mean Jeans returned to what they do best with Gigantic Sike, an 11-song exercise in old-school party punk, which was issued by Fat Wreck in August 2019. ~ Mark Deming