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Alternative & Indie - Released April 5, 2019 | Rise Records

For a band whose acronym stands for "pathetic use of potential," Toronto punks PUP continue to maintain a surprisingly high standard on their third full-length outing. As its title suggests, Morbid Stuff is an album rife with themes of depression, chaos, heartbreak, and general morbidity, but in typical PUP fashion, this sense of bleakness is transmuted into heroic blasts of power, humor, and some of the catchiest songs they've ever written. At the heart of their sound is frontman and chief songwriter Stefan Babcock, whose frenetic ranting somehow manages to convey desperate outrage and friendliness in equal measure. As tongue in cheek as some of their songs may be, there's a big heartedness to PUP's music that gives it sincerity which, combined with their increasingly solid musicianship, makes for a winning combo. Emitting the confessionalism of emo, the big sugary hooks of pop-punk, and the unchecked raw energy of classic hardcore, Morbid Stuff is also laced with plenty of nifty little rhythmic intervals that add even more weird flair to its mix. At the album's vanguard are the excellent title track and the equally engaging lead single, "Kids," two standout cuts that deliver the best of what PUP have to offer. Loaded with thick harmonies, heavy guitar stacks, infectious melodies, and Babcock's rabble-rousing shouts, the onslaught continues with additional highlights like "See You at Your Funeral" and "Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashley." Amid the full-bore wall of guitars that make up most of the album's mass are some nice tonal breakdowns like the introspective acoustic intro to "Scorpion Hill" and the dreamy group harmonies that close out "Bare Hands." Morbid Stuff reflects the steady growth all around for these fine Canadians who keep showing up with buckets of great material. ~ Timothy Monger

Alternative & Indie - Released February 27, 2019 | Rise Records

Alternative & Indie - Released May 27, 2016 | SideOneDummy Records

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Surviving too many months in the van and a resultant vocal cord scare for frontman Stefan Babcock, Canadian punks PUP live to tell another tale on their sophomore release, The Dream Is Over. Using the glib prognosis from Babcock's doctor as both their album title and rallying cry, the Toronto-based quartet come off even more ferocious than before on this spirited ten-song effort. With their strong hooks, gang vocals, and spastic transitions, PUP offer a visceral mix of unity and chaos. They've also got a sense of humor that helps keep from getting mired in potential emo/pop-punk tropes, making them sound, at times, like a freaked-out, hardcore Dead Milkmen. Album-opener "If This Tour Doesn't Kill You, I Will" is a fairly self-explanatory airing of band-related grievances with entertaining lines like "everything you do makes me wanna vomit, if this tour doesn't kill you, buddy, I'm on it." It's a sentiment countless hardscrabble rockers likely share toward their bandmates after too way many hours in close-quartered Econoline vans, but it's all just part of the narrative for the PUP brotherhood who, from the sound of it, remain as tight as ever. Their penchant for tasty guitar leads and catchy, fist-raising melodies manifests itself on highlights like "Sleep in the Heat" and "Can't Win." For all their self-deprecation and ramshackle bombast, there's no hiding the band's innate musicality, which reveals itself in the myriad of clever changes and occasional bursts of slick vocal harmony, especially on the epic closer "Pine Point." If the dream really is over for PUP, they sound awfully confident. ~ Timothy Monger

Alternative & Indie - Released March 22, 2019 | Rise Records


Alternative & Indie - Released January 15, 2019 | Rise Records