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Album Review: Morbid Stuff by PUP

Canadian punks PUP release their third album Morbid Stuff on 5th April, via the band’s new label Little Dipper, in partnership with Rise Records/BMG. Produced, recorded and mixed by Dave Schiffman (Weezer, Cass McCombs, The Mars Volta), Morbid Stuff is everything that PUP fans have grown to love about them, but dialled up to 11. It’s gang’s-all-here vocals, guitarmonies, and lyrics about death. Lots of them.

Formed in Toronto five years ago, PUP — comprised of Babcock, Nestor Chumak, Zack Mykula, and Steve Sladowski — quickly became favourites of the punk scene with their first two, critically-beloved albums, winning accolades everywhere from the New York Times to Pitchfork, from NPR and Rolling Stone, and more.  Their last album, The Dream Is Over, not only debuted at #1 on the Billboard “Heatseekers” chart, but also catapulted them into international waters, selling out shows across the world throughout 2016.

From the opening chords of opener and title track ‘Morbid Stuff’ you know this is an album you are going to fall in love with. It’s everything you’ve come to expect of PUP and that bit more. It’s got dark and self-reflective lyrics, thunderous riffs but it’s fun – it makes you laugh in the face of adversity, it lets you know that things can be a bit shit but things will OK.

Lead single ‘Kids’ is a good initial insight into the flavour of Morbid Stuff. It sets the tone and is executed in that distinctive and loveable PUP style. “‘Kids’ is a love song from one nihilistic depressive to another,” explains Stefan Babcock. “It’s about what happens when you stumble across the only other person on the face of this godless, desolate planet that thinks everything is as twisted and as fucked up as you do.  And thanks to them, the world starts to seem just a little less bleak. But only slightly – it’s still pretty fucked up to be honest.”

We’d challenge you to find a track that you don’t love, whether it be the punk ferocity of ‘See You At Your Funeral’ or the folky intro through to riotous beat of ‘Scorpion Hill’ you can’t help but get an almost immediate affinity for the album. It’s relatable and cathartic at every turn. ‘Closure’ takes a relatively measured approach and revels it its simplistic pop punk tones, yet it sits perfectly beside the hardcore intro and duelling guitars of ‘Blood Mary, Kate and Ashley’ which is as equally powerful and immediate.

‘Sibling Rivalry’ might just be the best track PUP have committed to record. It channels the essence of the band Weezer should have been, ramps it up and makes you want to sing and shout along while dancing about. Then you have the heavy, hardcore punk of ‘Full Blown Meltdown’ and the anthemic nature of ‘Bare Hands’ and you ask yourself if it’d be possible to love this album (and band) any more. With closer ‘City’ the answer to the question is yes, it couldn’t fit any better. This is PUP at their very best. Superb.

AD Rating 9.5/10

1 Comment on Album Review: Morbid Stuff by PUP

  1. Love your take on this, and I agree, can’t find a song on the album that I don’t love. Good stuff!


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