Knuckle Puck
While I Stay Secluded


3.5
great

Review

by LowellWolfe USER (5 Reviews)
October 23rd, 2014 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The best in pop punk release another banger.

Today's pop punk scene is cluttered with flocks of commonplace bands regurgitating the same songs, structures, and lyrics over and over again. The genre is watered down with bands that have become mockeries and the style is often times sarcastically summed up as "pizza, cutting ties, and I'm not sad anymore."

It is Chicago, Illinois's Knuckle Puck that breaks the trend of mediocrity. Repeatedly churning out strong songs and EPs, the band is at the forefront of pop punk and has some of the best potential in the whole genre. Forming around 2012, the band released their first EP Don't Come Home, warming up fans for the onslaught of passion that is 2013's The Weight That You Buried. The EP landed the band on larger tours and national attraction BledFest, obtaining a larger following. Fast forward to 2014, Knuckle Puck releases a split with England's Neck Deep, featuring two songs that outweigh their past material, showcasing their guitarist Nick Casasanto's vocals, and the 7" Oak Street, prefacing their newest effort, While I Stay Secluded.

"Transparency", the opener, begins with the familiar snare roll and pick slide buildups characterized with pop punk, soon opening up into a hook and the pleasing sound of vocalist Joe Taylor's piercing voice. Taylor is one of pop punks best vocalists, in the same league at The Story So Far's Parker Cannon and The Wonder Years' Dan "Soupy" Campbell. The song rolls on through a roller coaster of verses and choruses before breaking down into the ending, unveiling the band's newfound strong layered guitar work. Continuing through previously released "Oak Street", the EP ends up at "In My Room", a song featuring dueling vocals and slower passages.

The frequent inclusion of the guitarist's vocals is a welcome addition, as his voice adds a unique dynamic that should have been present in more of the old material, as evident in album closer "Bedford Falls". Left handed drummer John Siorek supplies interesting grooves throughout the songs, keeping the movement intriguing and making it almost impossible to stop nodding your head. The beat in the bridge of "But Why Would You Care?" is especially noteworthy.

The only gripe with this EP, and maybe all of Knuckle Puck's work, is that they never seem to advance their sound. While they always compose strong songs, they leave no surprises. The record winds on, following the same structure as their past releases. Build up, guitar lead, fast beat, verse, maybe a clean interlude, and an ending meant to be chanted at shows filled with stagedivers and crowdsurfers. It is also time for the band to release a full length. This is their third EP, which proceeds two seven inches. While I Stay Secluded could've easily included four more tracks if the band spent more time writing and tweaking.

Chicago's Knuckle Puck releases another great EP, providing new breakup anthems and late night hooks. The band remains at the top of their league, and continues their streak of solid release after solid release. Sadly, the EP doesn't show any signs of growth, and there is really nothing new here. While I Stay Secluded will certainly tide fans over until their next release, and is an admirable addition to the band's music.


user ratings (139)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
LowellWolfe
October 23rd 2014


18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Quick review, yeah. Got super stoked when I saw this.

YakNips
October 23rd 2014


20097 Comments


kanookle pook!!

nononsense
October 23rd 2014


3536 Comments


The best in pop-punk? Easy there buddy.

betray
October 24th 2014


9392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"if the band spent more timing writing"



Think that's supposed to be 'time writing'



"and the the style"



Optical illusion typo!





I fucking love this band. Really happy to see them gain so much popularity in such short time.



But yeah, it's definitely about time to release an LP already.





LowellWolfe
October 24th 2014


18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha thanks for the corrections man, really wanted to get this out fast. They're insane live too. Going to see them again soon.

betray
October 24th 2014


9392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I saw them earlier this year with Neck Deep



great show

whatsernam
October 24th 2014


85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I fucking love this band. Saw them on tour with Senses Fail and they were great.

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
October 25th 2014


11558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Knuckle Puck and Real Friends seem to be starting a trend where pop punk bands release a stream of eps and small releases until they have a sizable tumblr crew to back their debut full length.



Great band but there's no way the vocalist matches up to Soupy or Parker Cannon either vocally or lyrically.

LowellWolfe
October 25th 2014


18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Maybe not lyrically, but the dude's vocals are insanely good. Especially live.

betray
October 25th 2014


9392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, they're fantastic, but agreed with Game, nowhere near Soupy or Parker's level.

Skoop
November 8th 2014


2201 Comments


This is hardly the best band in pop punk. That being said, they have improved impressively over the past two years.

AmbushReality
November 10th 2014


87 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

These guys are very impressive. The two songs from the Neck Deep split are their best work, but this EP is no slouch. They keep getting better, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them blow up as State Champs have within the past year. With consistent releases such as this, they definitely deserve to.

betray
November 10th 2014


9392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

CAUSE GOLD CAN'T RUST

snerefedsav
November 10th 2014


968 Comments


really enjoyed this. not really anything special but these dudes do what they do very well

Atari
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2014


27938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hmmm this is pretty solid

F0RBES
November 19th 2014


279 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

cringe worthy

betray
November 19th 2014


9392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/forums/image.php?u=533431&dateline=1416421042

F0RBES
November 20th 2014


279 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I don't think I've updated anything on my profile since I joined like 4 years ago. But I'd still rather listen to Park Jefferson in 2014 than Knuckle Puck.

betray
November 20th 2014


9392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i'm just messing with you lmao turns out that is not nearly as funny when the other person has no idea

why you did it

joshieboy
June 28th 2018


8255 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Was listening to Copacetic at work today and decided to go back and listen to this. Absolutely killer EP. All 6 tracks are bangers.



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