Kicking off their signing to Fat Wreck Chords, Mean Jeans’ first release on the label is actually a tease to something bigger: a 7″ single titled “Nite Vision,” a prelude to full length Tight New Dimension. It’s the trio’s first release of new material in nearly three years, so it’s obviously a wonderful thing to behold, but the question is whether or not it sounds any good.
The titular A-side is pretty all right, with a couple of guitar solos in the middle and end, saving it from relatively average. It’s no knockout like their last few singles — especially “I Miss Outer Space” from their split with Big Eyes, which was a career highlight — but it’s a good representation of what the Portland trio does, and a decent enough introduction to their scrappy, punchy songs for the Fat Wreck crowd.
Despite their clever titles, neither “Now I Wanna Be Yr Dogg” nor “69 Tears” are covers of the Stooges or Question Mark and the Mysterians. However, both these b-sides are mile-a-minute garage pop tunes. “Now I Wanna Be Yr Dogg” sounds an awful lot like Teenage Bottlerocket, actually, and while Mean Jeans have always danced on the edge of pop-punk and garage-pop, this is the first time they’ve really stepped firmly over the precipice.
The B-sides sound better than the A-side, which is a little muddy.
The cover looks like someone colored all the white parts of a composition notebook green, then stuck a picture on it. It’s a pretty basic jacket in thin cardboard, with no paper sleeve inside — not that one would fit. It also comes with a hand-drawn and photocopied lyric sheet. Nothing fancy, but it’s punk rock, not art rock.
It’s on standard black vinyl — nothing special, although there was a limited edition on yellow vinyl which, as per usual, sold out rather quickly.
“Nite Vision” is available on vinyl at Fat Wreck Chords.