With 3 major LPs and a plethora of EPs and singles from Knuckle Puck, the Pop Punk genre is always ready for new tunes from this band. Giving us a small 4-track EP in early 2022 is a great start. Let’s take a turn to see how these tracks stack up with the rest.
From the jump, it is easily heard that we are getting the refined Knuckle Puck characteristic sound. For me, this is the same approach we got a taste of in “Shapeshifter” and heard heavily throughout “20/20.” This would be that of the traditional Pop Punk approach to sound and lyricism. You’re going to hear the over the top instrumental lines that work with the lyrical melodies that make you want to scream the witty points at the top of your lungs at a live show.
However, the overall approach to their sound resonates with a more finished tone; meaning, it isn’t as raw or edgy like we heard in their earlier works. This isn’t to say that they don’t still bring the heat, but I do feel as if the overall sound is a bit softer in timbre. The groove of each song stays pretty consistent across the EP, so it feels as if they move seamlessly together as a unit, but there isn’t a track that really sticks out to be something we haven’t heard before.
The inclusion of these songs feels like Knuckle Puck wrote some tunes to go along with their previous release, and that is the sound they are going to retain- at least for now. I want to really dive into the music from this EP, but I don’t know if there is much apart from surface level Pop Punk music. As the genre has evolved, a lot of the music has started to fit a mold to make a “good” or “solid” record. The songs on this EP seem to follow just that. There will be the witty and angsty lyrics, strategic silence and varied orchestration to allow specific points to shine, a few instrumental interludes and mini-breakdowns, and a few moments that are like “yes, we will scream this at a concert as the instruments drop out to accent in, and we will all jump and join in until the end.”
I don’t think having something so textbook is necessarily band for the band, but with Knuckle Puck being such an integral member of the genre, it would be nice to hear some innovation or even some nostalgia from the group. For this I am giving the EP a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
*”Disposable Life” was released on February 4th, 2022 under exclusive license to Wax Bodega.