Having been championed by almost everyone since their brilliant debut EP, Puppy have developed their unique riff laden alt rock sound to become one of the most distinguishable sounds in music. Their second EP Vol II showed great progression from their EP. Coupling this with signing to Spinefarm records and the subsequent release of a couple of outstanding singles, left a great weight of expectation on what their debut album will be with. Well it’s just been released and it’s everything that was expected and more. The sound is as unique and oozes personality. The intricate power pop melodies are inescapable and the riffs as big as ever.
When they first burst onto the scene Puppy were often described as Weezer meets “any band with big riffs”. This certainly still holds true for this record, however on The Goat so many more influences come to the fore. There’s influences from classic rock, hardcore, power metal and more laden throughout. There are guitar parts on “And So I Burn” that are plucked straight from the school of Van Halen. The same song has Pantera style riffing and vocal melodies akin to Eurythmics. This concoction of different influences is the same across every song. You have blast beats, hardcore breakdowns as well as power pop choruses and flamboyant guitar solos.
Even with all these influences it always sounds like Puppy. Quite a statement considering this is their debut album. To have your own signature sound already says a lot about the quality of both the band and this record. A lot of that is due to frontman and lead guitarist Jock Norton. His hard-hitting riffs, flamboyant solos and his inescapable voice are at the forefront of Puppys sound and personality. While it’s Jocks leads that make Puppy stand out from other bands, this would not be possible without a rhythm section that not only drives every song but ensures each song sounds as big as it can be.
Upon listening to this record it’s hard to believe it’s a debut effort. Puppy have honed their sound to a tee. A sound that oozes personality. The huge riffs and infectious melodies combine to create a phenomenal record. The Goat will surely be one of the best debut records of 2019 and will certainly be in contention for album of the year.