Album Review by George Sully | 01 Apr 2014
Album title: PUP
Artist: PUP
Label: SideOneDummy Records
Release date: 14 Apr

Punk is pessimistic; it languishes in its own brash, self-deprecating defeatism. It’s no surprise then that Toronto-based four-piece PUP named themselves after Pathetic Use of Potential, quitting their day jobs to pursue the unglamorous hedonism of punk rock. How ironic it seems now for the band – who ambitiously fired some tracks over to veteran producer David Schiffman, only to have him take them on – to now garner acclaim.

Their self-titled debut – already popular in Canada since October 2013 – is at times langourously yowling (Yukon, Cul-de-Sac), at others vigourously, grungily aggressive (Guilt Trip, Reservoir), but always comfortingly lo-fi and unapologetic. Back Against The Wall practically dons its warpaint and tightens its bandana; the album is packed with shout-along numbers and squealing guitar licks atop punkish percussion. A quickfire ten-track salvo, PUP might draw explicitly on a genre heritage, but amid the thrashing camaraderie and Stefan Babcock’s earnest yelling, you can hardly fault ‘em for it. [George Sully]