PUP
The Dream Is Over


4.3
superb

Review

by Atari STAFF
May 19th, 2016 | 668 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An act of rebellion

Following the success of their debut album, Toronto’s PUP began touring to the level of excess and insanity. Not only did they squash their goal to perform 200 shows in a year, they kept on going until they were forced off tour due to a serious vocal cord injury inflicted upon Stefan Babcock. It was nearly the demise of the band, with the vocalist recovering from a hemorrhaging cyst, and receiving doctor’s orders to quit touring altogether. Instead, the PUP vocalist simply mocked at the suggestion of quitting his dream, and used it as powerful ammunition for the band’s sophomore affair. As much an act of rebellion as it is a punk album, The Dream Is Over is a highly satirical and raucous collection of punk tunes fueled by the band’s passion for making the loudest music possible.

The Dream is Over is everything the band’s debut was and more. It’s angrier, louder, and at times, it’s downright hilarious. Their second chapter is told with a helping of dark humor and wit, like on opener ‘If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I will’ in which Babcock scoffs at the idea of quitting his dream, and suggests the band members are on the verge of killing each other – I hate your guts and it makes me ill seeing your face every morning. One more month, and twenty two days, if this tour doesn’t kill you, I may. It’s one hell of a way to kick off their sophomore effort, with rampant gang vocals shouted over the band member’s personal jabs at each other: I'm trying not to let you get in my head, but every word, every goddamn syllable that you say makes me wanna gouge out my eyes with a power drill.

If PUP knows anything, it’s how to promote an album properly. With three killer tracks dropping before the album as well as the band’s very own Nintendo game, the amount of intrigue surrounding their latest release was high to say the very least. Lead single ‘Dvp’ was a promise of things to come, with some of the most abrupt instrumentation ever conjured up by the band. The rest of The Dream is Over delivers on this promise with an unrelenting sense of ferocity. ‘The Coast’ oozes with an abrasive demeanor, utilizing giant guitars as Babcock pushes his weathered vocal cords to the brink. This is followed up by the hardcore influenced ‘Old Wounds’, in which the band gets the opportunity to shamelessly bare their teeth. The track is nothing short of chaotic, with every band member releasing pent-up aggression in a violent fit of rage. Although it’s difficult to find any glaring faults in The Dream Is Over, the instantly catchy ‘Can’t Win’ feels a bit formulaic by PUP’s standards, and its surrounding tracks can’t quite match the outrageous stamina of the album’s first half.

For a band known for their energetic live performances and their gritty music, The Dream is Over is a fitting continuation of PUP’s snotty debut, with several notable improvements. For starters, the guitar-work is elevated to new heights of both skill and speed. Lead single ‘Dvp’ puts these improvements on full display, as the rapid guitars reach a breakneck pace as they attempt to keep up with Babcock’s relentless fury. Much like the amusing opening track, the song is ripe with humor as the singer reveals his relationship struggles: Your sister thinks that I’m a freak, she’s been ignoring my calls, we haven’t spoken in a week / I get so drunk that I can’t speak. Although it was the first song to be released from the album, it still holds up steadily as one of the album’s fiercest cuts. If you find yourself wondering how the single could be even better, do yourself a favor and watch the official music video which pairs nostalgic video games (including Mario Bros. 3) with Babcock’s unabashedly grating vocals.

The Dream Is Over is one of the most unapologetically over-the-top punk albums in recent memory, and fitting proof that Babcock’s vocals are still fully functional. Hearing him bounce back from his injury with even more angst and aggression than before is more than just mildly amusing, it’s completely thrilling. With one of the most unique voices in the punk scene, he’s spastically steering his band mates into the spotlight with the band’s sophomore effort. Beneath the rowdy gang vocals, biting lyrics, and turbulent instrumentation lies a youthful energy that would be a challenge for any band to replicate. Despite Babcock nearly destroying his vocals upon hundreds of back to back performances, the dream is anything but over for PUP, and their latest effort is a defiant middle finger outstretched to anyone who says otherwise. Much like hanging out with a bunch of drunken frat boys, they might be a bit on the obnoxious side, but you’re certainly guaranteed a good time. The best part of all? There’s no hangover.



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PUP

Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
May 19th 2016


22442 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

album rules. In addition to the song stream links, I highly recommend the article with noisey I posted below.



Dvp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVuB1ZASrGw

If this tour doesn't kill you, I will

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IM472k0Md8

full album stream

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/19/477925300/first-listen-pup-the-dream-is-over



noisey article (highly recommended)

http://noisey.vice.com/blog/the-two-years-that-almost-killed-pup



Digging: Captain, We're Sinking - The King of No Man

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 19th 2016


13979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review. summed up my thoughts as well. thought the last couple songs were a bit weak but if I were staff I'd def give this a 4.2. Honestly like it better than their first album

Digging: Palm (PA) - Shadow Expert

Atari
Staff Reviewer
May 19th 2016


22442 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

cheers man. this was a bit of a struggle to write despite my love for the band/album, so glad you think it turned out ok.



I'd probably give this a 4.5 if the second half of the album was as strong as the first. None of the songs are bad by any means, but the first half is just SO good that some of the later tracks don't really live up to it. The album still flows really well though





ShadowRemains
May 19th 2016


24579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

s/t was fucking great, excited for this

LotusFlower
May 19th 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cant wait to stream

Atari
Staff Reviewer
May 19th 2016


22442 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

enjoy fellas. I definitely think this lives up to the debut

TooManyFriends
May 19th 2016


2369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best band

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
May 19th 2016


5609 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

final three tracks are the best on first listen

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
May 19th 2016


8281 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

these guys are all sorts of brilliant live

Digging: Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

TooManyFriends
May 19th 2016


2369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the first 4 tracks are ridiculously good. probably the best 4 song stretch i've heard all year

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 19th 2016


13979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

idk Doubts isn't that great imo but the rest of the songs are so solid

TiedDown93
May 19th 2016


22 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The first record definitely had some tracks I would skip by but man this is such a crazy step up

guamman64
May 19th 2016


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The only thing better than this band's music is their music videos

Lucid
May 20th 2016


7960 Comments


record is really great but it's unfortunate that it's streaming same day as the hotelier. my attention is elsewhere!

Clumseee
May 20th 2016


542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

record is really great but it's unfortunate that it's streaming same day as the hotelier. [2]

sailSAway
May 20th 2016


1078 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

whoa didnt know this was streaming. must. listen. NOW

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2016


13979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

man yesterday was killer for music. The Hotelier and this and both are so solid

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2016


13979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but yeah I stopped listening to this as soon as I heard The Hotelier was streaming their album as well haha

Atari
Staff Reviewer
May 20th 2016


22442 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

yeah, I knew this having the same release date as the hotelier was gonna be an issue lol.



"these guys are all sorts of brilliant live"



I'd love to see them live, but I read an interview with Stefan Babcock yesterday stating his goal is to translate the energy of a live setting into the recordings.









Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2016


13979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yess I've seen them live and they are insane. loved the energy



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