PUP
The Unraveling of PUPTheBand


4.0
excellent


Release Date: 04/01/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You’re drunk, PUP. Go home.

PUP have built a career on the knife edge between order and chaos. Their yin of snotty disheveled punk needs their yang of candy-coated pop, for it's that elusive balance between accessibility and aggression which has sustained the group as acclaimed genre-darlings for almost a decade. What happens, then, when yin fucks off on vacation and yang finally moves out and gets a real job? The Unraveling of PUPTheBand.

The foundational twin pillars upon which the Toronto 4-piece have built everything topple over on their 4th full length record. In their place: an unholy hodgepodge of tie-dye ooze and overdriven fog. One page out of the psychedelic playbook, a footnote or two from noise rock and a crash course on Rosenstock-ian showmanship inform Stefan and co. as they continue down the increasingly eclectic path they paved on 2019’s Morbid Stuff. The resultant journey is a jittery, joyous, glorious, gleaming mess: substantially less coherent than their previous outings, but no less endearing.

Typically atypical melodies lurch all over this 12-track acid-trip, haphazard and carefree a la the adorable “Robot Writes A Love Song” and not-so-relentless “Relentless” - all soft pastel hues and beaming, bashful refrains. They’ve much in common with the stone-cold bangers that put PUP on the map, except now they're cloaked beneath a wall of purple haze - less frantic firework displays, more softly simmering slow burners. The newfound sm0k is a fitting companion to the usual suspects - the decay of withered companionship (“Matilda”) and odes to silently fading away (“Grim Reaping”) - presenting the lads’ brand of self-loathing and ever-relatable angst in softer, snazzier clothes. Inevitably, Unraveling’s cozier tunes need more time to breathe, ingraining themselves into one's noggin only after successive listens. The fluorescent tendrils of “Four Chords” and “Habits” diffuse at a snail's pace compared to the immediacy of a “DVP” or “Kids”, lacking the delectable crunch of PUP’s past works but paying dividends if you’re willing to invest in their newfound pursuit of pillowy, sky-high vibes.

Monstrous, deformed riffs occasionally break up the patient pacing, tempered by the band’s present penchant for a darker side of heavy: see the brooding “Cutting Off the Corners”, cracking open with distortion at its midpoint, or the bass-forward sludge-a-thon of “Waiting”, generously bubbling over with feedback freakouts and landmine drum fills as required. The reliable yin-yang duo make a welcome return to the spotlight when needed, fueling the anthemic lead-single “Totally Fine” and immaculate “PUPTHEBAND Inc. is Filing for Bankruptcy”, the latter containing some of the most ambitious and captivating instrumentation the band have ever put to wax. That the two most traditionally ‘PUP’ tracks are Unraveling’s best cuts is hardly surprising, but does little to cover up the subtle growing pains present in the group’s latest creative shift. Whilst not a bad trip, the muddied production and more reserved stylings beset the record with a dithering sluggishness that’s hard to shake. Expect anything as snappy or well-realized as a “Sleep In the Heat” or “Scorpion Hill” and you’ll be disappointed; embrace the murk, however, and you’ll be rewarded with the most interesting shakeup of the band’s career.

PUP have already been there and done that. Their last 2 LPs are quintessential genre-touchstones, likely to remain so for years to come, but perhaps what’s more exciting is their willingness to throw it all away. Unraveling’s hallucinogenic hallmarks need refinement, yet what they spell for PUPTHEBAND Inc.’s intentions leaves me beaming like an idiot. They aren't done with us yet, still able and willing to cake the wall with new shit until something sticks or the whole damn building caves in, whichever is sooner. Their quest to find the next ying-yang worth raving about is one I’ll gladly join them on. When the results are as fun as The Unraveling of PUPTheBand., it’s rather hard to turn them down.



Recent reviews by this author
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets Night GnomesBilly Woods Aethiopes
Ghost Mice All We Got Is Each OtherSOUL GLO Diaspora Problems
Vein.fm This World is Going to Ruin YouConverge The Poacher Diaries Redux
user ratings (199)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2022


7484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Out Friday x

Slex
March 29th 2022


14553 Comments


Fucking pumped

JayEnder
March 29th 2022


15276 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ooh, nice review Asleep! Still kinda worried about this one's production but excited regardless.

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2022


4589 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

fuck yess stoked for this, wonderful read

worried about the production [2] but based on the singles these songs should be interesting additions to their live sets at the very least

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2022


49320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

wow an Asleep review more than three sentences long, i can die at peace



this sounds, uh, uh, uh, uh, like results may vary! but i'm extra stoked to see how it lands now mmmhm

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2022


7484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I am occasionally capable of typing more than word at a time, it's true. Gotta keep expectations low otherwise I'm gonna run out o-

Colton
March 29th 2022


16176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review. slowly getting into PUP mode this week, relistening to their old stuff. Robot Writes a Love Song has grown on me a lot, might be a bit overbearing with the tech metaphors but the songwriting and guitar is great and the “cardiac arrest” part is classic anthemic PUP

WatchItExplode
March 29th 2022


9790 Comments


I forgot this thing was going to happen

Pikazilla
March 29th 2022


23654 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sorta dig everything this band has done except dream, which sucked



will check upon release

JayEnder
March 29th 2022


15276 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Literally their best album. Do you just pull these takes out of a hat or something?

anat
Contributing Reviewer
March 29th 2022


4915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i dig the singles, and they've the best music videos in the game

Feather
March 29th 2022


8404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Dream is Over album cover is one of my favorite of all time and this is one of my least

Colton
March 29th 2022


16176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah that’s understandable

JayEnder
March 29th 2022


15276 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Looks like a mish mash of all their album arts in one. Conceptually at least. Not sure why people hate it so much lol





rabidfish
March 29th 2022


7760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i fear this is gonna be one of those dreaded "good albums with terrible production"

Colton
March 29th 2022


16176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it looks nothing like any of their other album’s covers…

Colton
March 29th 2022


16176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

and yeah the production on Waiting specifically is wack

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2022


7484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just wait until you hear "Grim Reaping" lol, sounds like the vox are coming from a different room to the rest of the band. The fuzzy aesthetic grows on you though - works well as an album experience.

Tunaboy45
March 30th 2022


18107 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ah so the production really is consistent across the album, that's slightly worrying but it's Pup so still hyped

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2022


7484 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's more of a sliding scale. Some cuts are as crisp (or crisper) than the production on MS, though not quite as sharp as Dream, whereas others are even muddier than MS.



There is a constant fuzzy thread through all the tracks though. I didn't like it at first, but as with all things PUP it eventually wins you over.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy