After such an influential and basically perfect release in 2019 with “Morbid Stuff,” it can be easily said that we are expecting big things out of this record from PUP. My hope is that this record takes on the Pop Punk journey with the edge and raw vocals to instrumentation that PUP normally gives. Let’s take a look to see if that is the album that we got from them.
Before we hop into the review full force, can we take a second to honor the first song on the record, “Four Chords”?? This song quite literally made me drop my jaw and feel immersed in a musical experience all within like 30 seconds. The orchestration, the use of instrumentals to create a soundscape to build off the slow tempo, which was utilize to set the audience up for a jam-packed album- ugh. Simply perfection in a track. What I love even more is how the song ends as if they are unplugging their instruments to have an imperfect ending to transition an upbeat and edgy second selection. Truly of the PUP spirit.
Looking at the album as a whole, I can say that with this release it felt that these works felt like a natural progression from that of “Morbid Stuff.” In some regards it sounds as if they are exactly the same album with similar intentions just with new lyricism and approaches to their instrumental characteristic sound. This means one can expect edgy Pop Punk music with instrumentals that not only take risks apart from complementing the melodic line, but they extrapolate to create full experiences as the instrumentals feels as if they are surrounding the listener as the lyrics glide on top.
This may seem a bit out there as an analogy, but I find that the way that PUP orchestrates their music falls into a polyphonic way as the instrumental line is providing musical content that is just as important as the lyrics in a lot of album. However, there are moments where the band plays with texture to provide heightened moments as well as softer ones to highlight the contrast of the artist’s work. These instances allow for specific points to jump out at the audience to be like “Wow, okay, yes, you have my attention.”
The record as a project makes you want to be at a live show and scream these lyrics at the top of your lungs- especially the ones that are accented through the high levels of contrast. For me, I enjoy the nuances of the instrumental interludes included throughout because it helps for the album to not feel prescriptive in nature. I find that a lot of music moves from verse to chorus to verse to bridge to the end- very little elaboration to make something new and inventive. And, even though PUP isn’t doing something necessarily new as it mimics that of their previous works- it is still very nice to hear another record in this light as it celebrates the instrumentals as much as the lyrics.
Random thought before concluding: the album cover and title? Both completely on brand and genius. PUP is rocking the branding game because both factors makes the listener want to check out their work.
For this, I am giving this record a 4.5 out of 5 stars. PUP has produced another solid record to help keep the Pop Punk flame burning, and there is nothing more that anyone could want. Though I don’t think it was necessarily intentional, I do feel that this is a great sister album to “Morbid Stuff.”
*”THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND” was released on April 1st, 2022 through Rise Records and BMG Rights Management (US) LLC.