Opening an album with a song called ‘If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, Then I Will’ might feel like the most comprehensive way possible to announce that things aren’t quite right in a band’s camp. Yet for PUP, it almost seems par for the course. Their second album, The Dream Is Over, is packed to the brim with self-deprecating humour which suggests that they might not be quite as close to self-destruction as that song suggests.
Well, we certainly hope so anyway because The Dream Is Over is full of the kind of ramshackle alternative rock that I definitely want more of. PUP sound like a band who have walked straight out of the garage and into a recording studio, plugging in and bashing it out in the way that all the best punk rock is. The fuzzy riffs of ‘DVP’ and the angry roar of ‘Old Wounds’ almost feel like they were recorded live.
Which doesn’t mean it isn’t also packed full of melody. ‘My Life Is Over And I Couldn’t Be Happier’ has a riff you can sing along with while there are enough big choruses here that even the poppiest of punk fans can find something for them. This is a band which take elements of Nirvana, Weezer and countless other groups and mashes it all together into a formula that is fresh and exciting.
‘Can’t Win’ in another band’s hands could sound arena ready and even here in its raw form it feels huge. Elsewhere, ‘Familiar Patterns’ has some real bounce to its measured approach. At only ten tracks long there isn’t a dud moment on this album and it falls perfectly into the all killer no filler category.
The Dream is Over is just good rock and roll. It has bits and pieces that are a lot more than that but when you get right down to it, that’s what it is. PUP write good songs and if you like your bands to sound like they’ve just walked into the room, plugged in and got down to business, then you better believe that they are going to be for you.