PUP - Morbid Stuff - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

PUP - Morbid Stuff

by Alberto Andrés Rating:8 Release Date:2019-04-05
PUP - Morbid Stuff
PUP - Morbid Stuff

After capturing the attention of major music publications with their second LP, the Canadian punk band PUP are releasing their third long player Morbid Stuff. Following up your breakthrough album is one of those make-or-break moments that come in every band’s career, and luckily PUP have passed the test. Their second studio album The Dream is Over saw them getting rid of the rough edges present in their early work. It was a poppier, slicker affair, and it certainly worked in their favour. Now, they’re doubling down on their pop sensibilities with their third LP Morbid Stuff.

Though their melodies are still there, at times the band seems too focused in coming across as angry and energetic (duh, it’s a punk album). Morbid Stuff is definitely their most pop-punk effort to date, which means that there is a gang vocal overload. That’s not too bad in itself, but sometimes it can feel like a disservice to the album’s excellent melodies. In many ways, Morbid Stuff feels like an angrier and shoutier version of The Dream is Over (an album that, mind you, was already quite angry and shouty). If that’s your thing, then you’ll probably side with those who hold Morbid Stuff to rock album of the year contention. If not, this album still has more than enough to love for a casual punk listener.

The opening one-two punch of “Morbid Stuff” and “Kids” showcases PUP’s already well-known ability for coming up with memorable choruses while putting their evolution as a band on display. The performances in Morbid Stuff are tighter than in any other PUP album, and they had never reached this proficiency either when it comes to the production. Take the amazing guitar tone in the post-chorus guitar lick in “Kids” or the bouncy bassline of album highlight “See You At Your Funeral”, which also happens to have one of the best lyrics in the record: “What you were thinking / When you saw me in the produce section /Buying organic food, making healthy selections.” It’s the kind of perfect blend between their sense of humour and their earnestness (see also: The Dream is Over’s opener “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You Then I Will”) that makes PUP such a special band.

If The Dream is Over was an album to sing to while getting drunk on your own, Morbid Stuff is an album to shout its lyrics to your friends while drinking together or (preferably) pogoing. PUP have no time to lose, they want to get their message across in the fastest and messiest way possible. Even the album’s slower moments like the first minute of “Scorpion Hill” suddenly turn into its most frenetic bits. Soon before you’ve realised, Morbid Stuff has reached its cathartic final track. A mid-tempo closing note featuring some classic rock shredding, “City” works perfectly as an epic yet believable ending to an album that, like all the most memorable works in its genre, places candidness well at its core. While it might not reach the peaks of The Dream is Over, Morbid Stuff is PUP’s most consistent and arguably best album to date.

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