The Unraveling Of PUPTHEBAND

Written by: PP on 02/05/2022 20:48:52

"The Unraveling Of PUPTHEBAND" is PUP's fourth album, yet it sounds wholly different from anything they've written in the past. Somehow it's their noisiest effort yet, adding boatloads of fuzz into their already spazz-laden soundscape, whilst expanding on the chorus melodies at the same time. It's a confusing sound that doesn't sound like it gets the best out of their songwriting, almost as if it's trying too many things at the same time.

Given how different it sounds from "Morbid Stuff" from just three years ago, you're left with a puzzled feeling as a listener until you notice it's their first album with new producer Peter Katis, and then it all starts to make sense. Katis has produced critically acclaimed indie bands like The National, Interpol, and Gang Of Youths, which could explain why "The Unraveling Of PUPTHEBAND" sounds so disjointed compared to the beautiful concoction of chaos and melody that David Schiffman managed to capture on previous albums.

Songs like "Waiting" feature a huge chorus, trademark melancholic howls, and swirling guitars, but also sound shoddy. In an effort to sound more chaotic and busier than ever, the recording sounds messy and unfinished. To me, it just sounds like Katis has misunderstood the key part that made PUP songs so great. The angular riffs were just fine when they were glitchy and unpolished: they added to the buzzing, vibrant atmosphere that was characterized by unparalleled energy and palpable passion.

Here, the songs appear slowed down on purpose, then there's an organ melody that looks towards the mainstream, that crash lands into punk-fueled madness moments after. It sounds like the PUP formula on paper - and indeed underneath the surface, you can detect the same rage and screeching melody that has always fueled PUP songs and ensured a wonderfully insane listening experience.

But given this misunderstanding, "The Unraveling Of PUPTHEBAND" feels like an attempt of controlling the band's unpredictable outbursts and focus it in a grander direction. It's a noble goal - songs like "Matilda" and the melancholic ballad "Cutting Off The Corners" certainly point in this direction - and it is almost successful. But because of - and I am willing to bet on this being the reason - Katis' non-punk background, the beautiful chaos doesn't sound quite like the charming, tumble dryer falling down the stairs type of lovable buzz that characterized the first three PUP albums. As it stands now, their fourth full-length is a decent album, but it leaves behind a feeling that it could've been so much better.


Download: Totally Fine, Matilda, Waiting
For the fans of: The Dirty Nil, Jeff Rosenstock, Joyce Manor,
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.04.2022
Rise Records

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