Knuckle Puck

Shapeshifter

Written by: PP on 28/02/2018 20:53:30

A few years back I stumbled upon Knuckle Puck and their EP "While I Stay Secluded". Back then, the band's realism and emotional charge were instantly captivating due to its energetic nature which coped well in a crowded scene against the likes of Real Friends or The Story So Far. Since then, the band has been on a gradual journey away from turbocharged pop punk towards similarly angst-driven, realist pop punk as what The Wonder Years have been performing in their later years. Unfortunately, the resulting expression is dime-a-dozen emotional pop punk with few memorable highlights, which was first demonstrated on debut album "Copacetic" two years ago.

"Shapeshifter", their sophomore album, doesn't fare much better. The whiny vocals may pack an energetic punch on a song like "Gone", which echoes Set Your Goals' early material, and the band has occasional strong moments, but overall their expression simply isn't interesting nor charismatic enough to stick beyond the first couple of listens. The sound is derivative of pretty much all of the aforementioned bands so far plus Such Gold, so it ends up lost in saturation amongst dozens of peers with a similar sound. It's a shame because the amount of enthusiasm and polished production suggests Knuckle Puck are aiming for the big league, but unfortunately, the songwriting doesn't quite get us there.

Instead, the material on "Shapeshifter" not only sounds generic but is riddled in clichés and sugarcoated lines that deride the lyrical universe to an extent where it probably doesn't appeal to anyone past 21 years old at this point. Despite giving the record several months' worth of listening time, the songs fail to stick and the soundscape is forgettable. Individual tracks can be strong, but as a whole, the record feels samey and too generic to succeed.

Download: Twist, Double Helix
For the fans of: The Wonder Years, Real Friends, Set Your Goals, The Story So Far, Such Gold
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.10.2017
Rise Records

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