PUP is described as a punk rock band, although on the surface it seems like a perfect genre to place them in. But then you listen and understand the nuance and purpose behind every lyric, riff and song. As a whole their newest album, “Morbid Stuff” keeps the bands energy pounding like previous albums and gives much depth to the band’s songwriting with lyrical content that not only feels relatable but is relevant and honest.
With a title as “Morbid Stuff” there’s an assumption the album is going to be dark in content, but what PUP has done has taken the madness that is anxiety and depression and created an outlet for a way of showcasing just how twisted it is. In the open track, “Morbid Stuff” the opening verse sets the tone for the rest of the album. “I was bored as fuck, Sitting around and thinking all this morbid stuff, Like if anyone I’ve slept with is dead and I got stuck, On death and dying and obsessive thoughts that won’t let up, It makes me feel like I’m about to throw up”, now as dark as this seems it’s an insight into the head of someone with racing thoughts, OCD and anxiety. PUP doesn’t hold back with this record. The subtlety is gone and they want you to know how they feel, kicking that door off its hinges and giving listeners the ability sing along with content you may completely relate to or not fully understand.
You get what you want with “Morbid Stuff”. PUP is going to make you headbang and hear slick guitar parts and pounding drums, don’t get it twisted. But with this new release PUP has shown growth in ways that genuine. Their previous releases are filled with fun and honest lyrical content, but a theme carried through out an album subtle or not so subtle, is growth in a massive step in the right direction. With the last track, “City” and opening track “Morbid Stuff”, there is a line that ties them together in a small way that stands tall. On “City” the line “I’m weighed down in this city, It’s hard to live here, and I’ve been feeling restlessness” ties into a line on “Morbid Stuff” “And back in the city I was on a tear//High-fiving every shithead on Queen Street… I don’t know what you want me to say/’Cause back in the city I was on a tear”. Now depending on how you listen to the album, you can read it one way or another. From front to back, you can see how confident you can be at the beginning and how lacking that you can end up at the end. And when listening from to back and the record starts over, you can see how the potential for hope and growth is there, always.
There’s of course the other single besides the self-titled track, “Kids” that feels like a breath of fresh air and still familiar. With a scream of “Just like the kids” and then spoken word intro of “I’ve been navigating my way through the mind-numbing reality of a godless existence, Which, at this point in my hollow and vapid life, has erased what little ambition I’ve got left” you know there’s something new to the band with creating a same sound you have heard but allowing lyrics to become an integral piece of the song structure. With lyrics like “And I’ve embraced the calamity”, “And I had it maxed out, I had a feeling, oh, Nothing is working, And everything’s bleeding, oh”, “I’m pretty happy lying here with you, It’s pretty good to feel something” “Kids” it’s a track that anyone can listen to and immediately feel a core part of them that can relate. “Closure” is easily one of the standout tracks buried in the middle of the album, kicking in your gut with a chorus that demands attention, “And each night I have the same dream, I’m face to face with your other, There’s a part of you that’s still a part of me, I need closure, I need closure, Yeah, I was looking for something, To keep these scabs from coming off, I need closure”, not only beautifully crafted lyrics, but the sound behind it is rhythmically chaotic and perfect. “Scorpion Hill” is a track that feels like the whole album in one song. The ebbs and flows are something resembling of a panic attack, which fits perfectly with the content of the album as a whole. “Down and out, I’ve been on the rocks, I’ve been having some pretty dark thoughts, Yeah, I like them a lot” and “And I’m on the brink, Fallin’ deep into debt, Fallin’ deep into drink, I can drown those regrets, I don’t have to think” remind you that even though the fellas in PUP have had success with the band, there’s still doubt in every one no matter what you see them as.
PUP has become a household name over the past few years with many catchy singles, lengthy tours and energetic live performances. With “Morbid Stuff”, PUP should become more than just a household name but a staple in the rock and punk scene