PUP – ‘Pup’
(Out April 8th on SideOneDummy)
THERE IS NO SMALL OR PLAYFUL YAP from PUP’s music. Instead, they should be considered dangerous and come complete with electrical collar. On this their self-titled debut, they scowl, bark and ravage until gasping for breath. Much like a bulldog, PUP manages to retain cute and friendly while still possessing the fercious characteristics of a wild feline, when needed.
Opener ‘Guilt Trip’ has a savory swing and a tempo thats challenging yet easy to keep up with, rocking like Queen meets Nirvana with an array of guitar solos and grunge vocals. ‘Reservoir’ plays out as an abundantly less hectic and mosh-free Trash Talk number. The intensity of a punk and hardcore band is still present even though the melody is as tender as a Beach Boys classic. Eclectic?
‘Mabu’ sees them get the biggest bone for good song writing ability. Incorporating a playful essence from bands such as Vampire Weekend and old school Kings of Leon, with just a hint of 50’s Buddy Holly revival. Sounds odd I know and ‘Never Try’ might lead to serious MTV rotation, but the blues inspired ‘Yukon’ should see them retain the rawness of the underground. With faux southern accents in mouth and country riffs in hand, ‘Yukon’ is a journey into chaotic beauty that’s as much a surprise as any track on offer.
Come the mid-point however, man’s best friend begins to tire. The ferocious snarl is muzzled as ‘Dark Days’ spits out a Best Coast mantra while ‘Lionheart’ is second rate fodder for the souls of starving indie kids. ‘Back Against The Wall’ is a modern This Charming Man however while closer ‘Factories’ is more Queen inspired theatrical rock. PUP clearly aren’t ready to be pigeonholed, but it’s fair to say they’ve some seriously sharp teeth and could well be the next Big Dog on the block. (8)