2019, Music

Morbid Stuff (2019) by PUP

I feel about this record the same way I felt about The Dream Is Over only this was released in 2019 so is just as anachronistic or even more so.

Pup play energetic pop punk with a significant post hardcore influence that gives the music variation and mild artiness that you wouldn’t expect from reading the term “pop punk.” Certainly, if you compare them to most pop punk/skate punk bands from the ’90s, their music is more diverse. That, along with their incessant energy, is their strength.

I’d also say that the band write in slightly different styles than you might expect from a “pop punk” band. On both this record and the previous one, I detect a folk influence on at least one song a piece. It’s mild, but it’s there (and much more in the song writing than the performance).

But, as another reviewer comments, the gang vocals are a “constant.” And at some point you wish they would, you know, do something other than that, as it makes a lot of of their choruses in particular sound pretty similar to each other.

I do believe Pup are above average for a pop punk band. But this is coming from someone who doesn’t like pop punk. I have seen them live and I can tell you that the energy on this record is only upped live, which a lot of people really like.

I have listened to a lot of punk in my life as well as a lot of other music. I can’t say that I sit around hoping to hear another classic punk record made in the 21st century to, I don’t know, update this or that punk genre to this point of the 21st century. To me, punk’s value is at least half contextual. It was an extremely necessary corrective 50 years ago. I don’t know what role punk has now. I’d like to say I’m open to some kind of new spin, that reinvents punk for the 2020s or whatever but I’m not going to go looking for it. And I don’t really have much interest in bands that just want to make music like this for their entire career. Lots and lots of people have already done that. Are Pup better at it than many of those bands? Absolutely. They’re still a pop punk band making pop punk in the 2010s.


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