There has been a revival recently on what I can only describe as ‘classic punk’. By that I mean, infectious guitar hooks, harsh untouched drumming and angst driven vocals. Canadian noise makers PUP have certainly drawn from the classic punk sounds in their debut album. Punk is the very basis of the LP, but it’s not the be all and end all of it. They manage to blend it together quite wondrously with very anthemic, alt-rock-like choruses.
PUP burst into the scene through Toronto’s underground punk movement which coupled with the revival of ‘classic punk’ has seen a great resurrection in the last few years. The band really made waves once they had spread to New York and since then have continued to grow exponentially throughout the musical world.
The album opens up with the fantastic ‘Guilt Trip’ which is very much everything a punk rock track needs. Its equal parts punishing and sombre, creating a tantalising taste into what the rest of the album has to offer you. Arguably the best track of the album comes really early on ‘Reservoir’. The song is instantly recognisable and memorable, a guitar hook so infectious that you’ll have to take antibiotics in order to get it out of your system. The vocals as well, are on another level. The chorus itself is fantastically memorable and you’ll find yourself humming the track hours after you’ve heard it from the first time. I think one of the main problems the album faces is that it never quite hits the same heights as ‘Reservoir’ throughout the album’s 8 other tracks. They try, oh you can feel the passion that these 4 lads have put into their music, but you forever get this feeling that they may have hit their peak right at the start.
The like of ‘Yukon’ is a very good track in its own right, really bringing the tone and tempo down to create an altogether grittier affair. ‘Backs Against The Wall’ intends to bring the tempo right back up again, but has the problem of never being as memorable. The problem here is more the timing of ‘Reservoir’, which just unfortunately, in maybe unfair terms, is like shooting your gun before you’re ready to fire.
If you take all the tracks separately then what you get is a solid punk album. ‘PUP’ is a punk album which spins in some interesting alt-rock hints which really creates something different. What their debut album will really be remembered for is that one track, I feel like I’m dwelling on this point too much, but ‘Reservoir’ is just that perfect modern punk track. There has been a lot of love gone into this album, and you certainly get the feeling that creating music is very much the world for these guys now. If you’re a true fan of punk then PUP is the perfect thing to get your teeth into and is certainly a direction people can go to find a very good entrance into the punk genre.