In similar fashion to The Stooges, hardcore, punk and the many subgenres connected in various ways have always worked to make themselves obsolete: Ideally, the music works as a critique of society and, as a result, effects enough change that things like punk will no longer be needed.

Mohawks aren't needed when times are just, life happy and worthwhile for everyone.

What unfolds on Hope for Men documents the death not only of that principle but the collateral damage of such a collapse.

I've heard numerous arguments that the first album from Pissed Jeans is better. Much of this comes from people whose reputations are made by liking things before other people, but there's more to it. The first Pissed Jeans record sounds angrier, louder, more brash, and to people who love angry, loud, brash music, it sounds better.

The band's first set of songs are successful because they retrace the history of hardore back to its roots -- when groups like Black Flag wanted to sound harsher than punk and confront listeners in a new way.

The follow-up is the opposite: It's what happens when hardcore, pushed to its musical limits, loses all its power to affect change or change minds or inspire anything. It is a document of musicians realizing that nothing they do -- not even their most crushing performances -- will mean sh--.

A dream shattering makes an interesting sound. Just listen to "The Jogger," the peak of the Pissed Jeans record and what sounds like the death rattle of singer xxxxxxx.