Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/4
The Dream Is Over
Written by: PP on 10/09/2016 00:24:58
PUP appeared out of nowhere with 2014's brilliant self-titled debut album, which put the band on the map together with incredibly original music videos, a relentless touring schedule, and energetic live performances. Although almost criminally underrated at the time, it was one of those rare records that offered an entirely fresh perspective on punk and post-hardcore alike, showcasing an unconventional sound that's difficult to compare to just about anyone else in the scene. Featuring lovable chaos, angular riffs fueled by spazz and distortion, and punk-laden ethos relying on well-timed gang shouts, vibrant off-tune melodies, and surprising tempo and tone changes, plus ideas from pop punk and post-hardcore meshed together, PUP's soundscape on had a ridiculous amount of things going on at once that certainly appealed to the ADHD segment.
That pattern continues on sophomore album "The Dream Is Over", a loud, but not necessarily abrasive record, where PUP create an unpredictable, messy sound that's all-over-the-place. But despite all the chaos, they sound joyous and catchy, with sky-high passion levels oozing through their screeching guitars and the sing/shout/scream vocal dynamics. At times, PUP sounds like a freight train approaching in uncontrollable fashion - see "DVP" or "Sleep In The Heat", and elsewhere they carefully craft mood-setting songs like the melancholic "The Coast" suggests. Common to all are spazzy guitars that twist, turn and curl in seemingly all directions at once, while heavy usage of pedal distortion gives them an especially screeching nature. Sometimes they even go all-out hardcore, such as on the testosterone-laden, aggressive tempo "Old Wounds". Fortunately, the band preserve the unpolished, rough feel of their debut album, because ironing out the edges and glitches would remove the lovable charm that with this album has become their signature expression.
Adding to that is the dark lyricism that often concentrates on boredom and self-critique, but nonetheless contains lyrical gems like "They used to say, don't quit your job, BUT GUESS WHAT, I NEVER HAD ONE" on "Familiar Patterns", and off we go into a blissful, unpolished mess where the band's passion shines through the vivid guitar dynamics and the shout-driven vocal performances. Unpolished yet melodic, rough but infectiously catchy, "The Dream Is Over" is even better than its predecessor. The relentless energy and non-stop chaos results, perhaps surprisingly, into an easily likable, and most certainly completely unique soundscape that is absolutely one of the must-hear ones in 2016.
Download: Familiar Patterns, Sleep In The Heat, DVP, Old Wounds, Doubts
For the fans of: Joyce Manor, At The Drive-In, The Blood Brothers
Release date 27.05.2016