Written by: PP on 15/10/2014 22:25:12

When I didn't know better, I assumed PUP to be a generic hardcore band based on their name alone. Good thing I decided to check them out anyway based on the sheer amount of critical acclaim these Toronto, Canada boys have been receiving on the blogosphere during the last few months. Turns out, they play crazy, indie-flavored, punk-fuelled alternative rock meets pop punk that's almost impossible to categorize. Basically, it sounds like the sonic equivalent of Weezer having a house party gone out of control Project X style. We're talking nerdy alternative rock core expression that is stretched in all directions via ambitious experimentation. It's weirdly twangy and noisy, raw and unpredictable, while also being uplifting and upbeat in its melodies. There are screams, cleans, choral sections, intense sequences of pure instrumental chaos and odd time signatures, but also simple pop melodies embedded within.

In other words, it's absolutely crazy. The band is channeling a similar high-energy buzz as The Blood Brothers, meaning it's raunchy and ferocious in its nature, yet the songs are oddly progressive and extremely well-written from a compositional perspective. The expression ranges from intimate and tight riffage that's spiced with messy production at times to huge anthems that echo in the soundscape with choral sections - often within the same song. Paste some indie rock flavor on top, buzzsaw guitar screeching a la 90s era Superchunk, and a dangerous, uncontrollable vibe similar to the Foxy Shazam debut, and you're pretty much there. I mean, the album highlight track "Mabu" is accompanied by a music video where the band retools an old car into a demolition derby race with cameras attached inside the car to document the wreckage. And yet they have songs like "Cul-De-Sac" which are calm and more traditional in their expression rather than the exploration of multiple scales all at once style guitar work they feature on many other tracks throughout the album.

Among other highlights we have the groovy opener "Guilt Trip", which introduces us to the experimental nature of PUP straight away with a soundscape that doesn't quite compare to anyone, and "Reservoir", the upbeat and garage punk oriented scream fest that's crazy catchy either way. The fun guitars of "Dark Days" make it a solid candidate as well. And fun is the keyword here - it really sounds like PUP are having fun on every single track on the record. The songs are playful and enthusiastic, resulting in an exuberant, vivid soundscapes that just feels so much more lively than all other bands you've been listening to this week. Don't miss out, the hype for these guys is growing fast.


Download: Mabu, Guilt Trip, Reservoir
For the fans of: The Blood Brothers, Weezer, Titus Andronicus,
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.04.2014
SideOneDummy Records

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