Review: PUP — “Morbid Stuff”

PUP’s morose and delectable blend of The Menzingers and Pinkerton on this album is nothing short of pure candy to my ears. In my opinion, the strongest release they’ve come out with so far!

These guys have quickly proven themselves as one of the most interesting and memorable bands of the Pop Punk revival. And if they continue to release music as enjoyable as this they might just be remembered as the flag bearers for the whole scene. Their crushingly hilarious lyricism combined with their graceful riff-writing and powerful understanding of how to craft a good hook will keep me addicted to this release for months.

PUP by Vanessa Heins
photo: Vanessa Heins

Lyrical Genius

Part of what makes this album worth your attention is the high level of replay value that comes from its lyrics alone, as the stories it tells and the witty, narcissistic one-liners it’s packed with are so well written it’ll have you wanting to memorize every single lyric. The opening handful of lines on the title track are a great example of this, as they’re so dark and unstable that I can’t help but laugh along with its upbeat sound as a coping mechanism for how hard-hitting and relatable it all is.

The unrelenting sarcasm doesn’t let up for a moment across the entire album, as lyrical themes such as looking forward to funerals and embracing mental breakdowns as welcome rushes of nostalgia remind the listeners of how dark of a place this record was written from.

Fist-Pumping Anthems

The other secret to the formula of why this record works so well is because of just how contagiously catchy and upbeat it all is. Most every track on this release will have you nodding your head to the rhythm of your fingers clicking on the repeat button with their motion-filled choruses.

The guitar riffs are so fuzzy and to the point that they’re easy contenders for some of the most iconic guitar parts in Pop Punk history, and this combined with the great rhythm section and super punchy vocal hooks make for a delicious blend.

This upbeat, fist-pumping sound combined with the vulgarity and relatable morbidness of the lyrics make the album something that will likely emotionally resonate with many people as well, including me. The way the album turns such downtrodden and dark subject matter into exciting jams is super empowering. It’s something that makes this record absolutely perfect for someone who’s struggling in life and needs music to turn to.

This is a quality that very few albums can get right on a level that makes their relatability and emotional connectivity nearly universal. But I really think this is an album that does that as well as anything else ever really has.

Deep Pools of Influences

This album is much more than just a run of the mill Pop-Punk. It’s about mandatory to make the genre interesting in 2019. Luckily, these guys take pages from far more band’s books than just Blink 182, as they have a rich Menzingers/Pinkerton vibe that runs through the veins of the album. And some brief Mathcore riffage with Post-Hardcore angst in the vocals that really give it a Punk edge.

This is a huge reason as to way PUP has stood out so much on their rise to the top, as they’ve made themselves easily recognizable as one of the most diverse, unique and distinguishable sounding bands in the scene. I genuinely believe they have a lot of steam left in them for the years to come, as their creative juices only seem to be starting to really flow on this album. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the future!

Worth a Spin, or Ten

Morbid Stuff is an exhilarating ride from start to finish that will keep you wanting to come back for more and more. I can’t recommend this thing enough to anyone who’s a fan of Pop Punk, or honestly any Rock music whatsoever.

This thing has all the potential to have a very wide-reaching audience, that’s why it’s combined well with the album represents this generation. I think it will be remembered as timeless by those who are lucky enough to hear it. Get around to listening to this album as soon as you can. I hope it’ll be on plenty best of the year lists.

Must-listen to: Morbid Stuff, Kids, Free at Last.

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