by Tiana Feng
Release Date: October 8th, 2013
Label: Royal Mountain Records
This year PUP dropped their cutesy former name, Topanga, a Boy Meets World reference. The name PUP may sound just as pleasant but who knows if they are referencing baby dogs or it’s an acronym for something more.
With PUP, their sound is a little more aggressive, more angry. Yet it’s still fuckin’ catchy, as proven by their lead single “Reservoir”. I don’t review many punk albums. I have a dude who does and he hates most of them. The lyrics are usually lame with bad production labelled lo-fi, etc, you get it. In PUP, the band has packed so much raw energy you can picture lead singer Stefan Babcock on stage screaming into the mic and the audience right up against it.
Right off the bat they task you on a 6/8 time “Guilt Trip”. The quartet are impressive players as proven by their pummeling drums; speedy guitar lines (“Cul-de-sac”); and Bacock’s appropriately screamy and melodic vocals. It’s all tight and you never get the sense that they’re forcing things. Even in the slower “Yukon”, you can feel the sweat dripping. The latter half breaking into a striking guitar solo. You’re not off the train until the final note of “Factories” where you can imply guitars were smashed.
It’s quite impossible to sit still and listen to PUP. You’ll head bang, air guitar and maybe accidentally knock over the vase on the kitchen counter-top. Yup, that happened.