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Album Review: The Goat by Puppy

Puppy release their debut album The Goat on 25th January via Spinefarm Records. Since releasing their Vol II EP in 2017, Puppy have been climbing the ranks of rock royalty, featuring on ‘Guitar Hero’ with ‘Forever’ and appearing at a host of major festivals including Download, Reading & Leeds, Glastonbury and Bloodstock, the latter pair representing a festival double-header that few bands could pull off.

Its testament to the uniqueness of Puppy’s sound. A mix of heavy no nonsense riffs, infectious melodies and a dash of experimentation. Don’t be surprised if there’s a Megadeth-esque riff followed by a melody straight out of the Weezer playbook. You can’t help but smile and enjoy it.

“We love heavier bands that seem to have something smarter going on,” explains frontman and guitarist Jock Norton – who leads the Puppy pack alongside drummer Billy Howard and bassist Will Michael – “but then we also love bands that are pretty dumb!” he adds with a cackle, citing both Black Sabbath’s doomy odes to the occult and Weezer’s admission that, really, they were off playing Dungeons & Dragons as two seemingly opposing forces on his early musical ambitions.

Straight from the opening bars of ‘Black Hole’ its hard not to see the mass appeal of Puppy. There’s something for everyone here, the metalheads will enjoy the riffs, indie kids will appreciate the melodies and the pop punk kids will get in on the fun. Hell, everyone should get in on the fun. It is an album to stick on, abandon the seriousness and smile. Its an album to enjoy and make you smile.

You couldn’t ask for more than 12 killer tracks straight from the top drawer, from the excellent start the album goes from strength to strength. ‘Poor Me’ and ‘Just Like You’ are absolute bangers, hits in the making while there’s some clever riffs in ‘And So I Burn’ before the churning, heavy and utterly infectious ‘Entombed’. Somehow it manages to build on everything that goes before it and turn out as one of the heaviest, most instantaneous tracks on the album. A track that just begs to be listened to on repeat.

There’s a triumphant power metal feel to ‘World Stands Still’ before ‘Bathe In Blood’ releases any harnesses and excels in wall of flowing and luxurious guitars. You can’t help but fall in love with the pop metal pomp of ‘I Feel An Evil’. The mix of crunching riffs and immediate melodies is uniquely mastered here. ‘Handlebars’ is a fantastic run through of the same blend, at this point you’ll consider that this will be the peak and the closer will tone it down. No, ‘Demons’ manages to out Puppy the rest of the album. Glorious.

AD Rating 8/10

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