For Fans Of: Jeff Rosenstock and The Menzingers
At the tail end of last year a Doctor told PUP vocalist Stefan Babcock that, “The dream is over.”, in response to his damaged vocal chords. Fast forward to the end of May and PUP are back in true Punk spirit with their 2nd full length titled “The Dream Is Over.” With passionate gang vocals shouting their trademark dark, self-deprecating lyrics I cant help but help but fall in love with this record.
The opening track, “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will” has Babcock vocalizing the frustrations that are bound to come if you’re in a van with the same 4 people for hours on end.The ending leads right into “DVP” with infectious lyrics backed by a violent frenzy of instrumentation that makes shouting along feel natural and almost mandatory.Track 3 “Doubt” reads like a brooding dirge about a lost lover, but the energy of the band transforms it into a catchy sing along. Track 5 “Sleep in the Heat” is completely heartbreaking. In another song that references the hardships of touring Babcock sings “I bought you, medicine, went to the vet and cashed all my savings and loans, but it was too late. You were letting go…” Side A ends with “The Coast” and gives a frantic guitar solo and pulsating bass riffs.
Side B kicks off with “Old Wounds”, a hardcore attack on auditory senses while Babcock laments on “Fucking up and ruining everything.” The 8th song “Can’t Win” is a contender for my favourite PUP song (so far). I gravitate towards things I find relatable and a song about feeling like a piece of shit and constantly ruining opportunity is up there.The penultimate song “Familiar Pattern” is composed of an infectious hook, amazing riffs and a sense of defiance ending with “Used to say ‘Don’t quit your day job.’ guess what? I never had one!” The album closes with “Pine Point,” in reference to a town that seems to have also inspired “Yukon” on their self-titled. It’s a dark confessional about memories and events in that town.
While PUP may stand for pathetic use of potential their discography is anything but that. Dark, Self-deprecating with hints of optimism and defiance PUP continue the “heart on your sleeve” brand of punk-rock alongside the likes of Jeff Rosenstock, Wil Wagner, Chumped (RIP) and The Menzingers.