PUP
PUP


4.5
superb

Review

by verdant CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
May 13th, 2017 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: the head aches, the ears ring, but the teeth show

That abrasive shift in key towards the latter half of Guilt Trip is quintessential PUP – creative, belligerent and totally fucking rock, man; it’s the sort of event that crashes into a wall. On the other side of that wall, it's all about the riffs, the overdrive, the stagedives. Self-titled is a remarkably streamlined affair, and PUP sprints the distance, because punk has never taken kindly to marathons.

Every now and again I come back to the Dark Days music video. Legitimately, the clip is like an unusually realistic Adult Swim cartoon: it’s insalubrious, confronting, depressing and – above all else – genuinely inspiring. I think there’s something in the fact that a band’s ethos can make me want to get chewed up and spat out by a bouncer, to play to empty rooms and to break friendships over a bruised and battered knee, but this record is truly alive with the energy of a thousand dingy venues. I’m going to buy a shitty old van, and I’m going to fill it with old friends and even older instruments.

Wherever it’s being performed, the record remains relentless as it, contrarily, keeps a clear head. The thing is frenzied and breakneck but maintains its acerbic wit, the way Yankee Hotel Foxtrot would play out if Wilco took Adderall before entering the studio. The frayed-wire 5/4 meter of Mabu skips nimbly along like a dulled stone on a frozen lake before sinking momentarily into the track’s chorus, and similar dynamics paint this record something lively and unique within its niche.

Pop-punk (a subgenre which I don’t think PUP occupies, but I digress), in all its iterations, is pigeonholed by a compulsive dependence on power-chords; in which the same, shrieking progressions are copied verbatim and repackaged by the next group of suburban kids that grew up on Enema of the State. Atop a pyramid of compacted car bodies (with dear old Mabu in its midst), PUP stare down at the zeitgeist, preferring instead to write progressions and melodic lines that twist and dart across the neck like a gymnast on a giant’s shoulders. See - if you will - the frenetic ascent in Yukon’s solo, or the verses on Guilt Trip as the guitar punctures the mix in 9/4, then 6/4, then 7/4 and back again. I always pull my neck out headbanging. I am okay with this.

I want to go to a PUP show. I want to sweat through my best shirt in the front row. I want to do away with my vocal chords while screaming the chorus during Back Against The Wall. Mostly though, I just want more people to pay attention to this record and its vivacity. PUP is a charged album – it’s the spark to a fi-… No wait. It’s just the fire, vital and burning a vivid yellow. Eventually, the light will falter and will fade, but at least we’ll have something to sing into the darkness.



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user ratings (244)
Chart.
4
excellent
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Comments:Add a Comment 
verdant
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2017


1879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

let's play: spot the gratuitously ill-advised simile

buzzkites
May 13th 2017


225 Comments


best modern punk band

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2017


1879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

they def make a strong case for it

tom79
May 13th 2017


3592 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album's the shit. Saw them open for the Menzingers right around the time this came out and I've been hooked since.

Digging: Iron Chic - You Can't Stay Here

ianblxdsoe
May 13th 2017


1364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

best straight up punk band around right now. stellar review also

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2017


1879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks! yeah i love these guys a lot

Tunaboy45
May 13th 2017


15610 Comments


One of the best bands in the punk scene right now

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2017


5734 Comments


you're on a hot streak.. great review.. will check band.

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
May 13th 2017


1879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks butcher! these guys are insane



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