PUP brandishes rock-infused punk à la The Bronx and Titus Andronicus. The opener, “Guilt Trip,” fooled me into thinking that these Torontonians would be both angular and driving, articulating the frenzied riffs and percussion of At The Drive-In bridged by anthemic Menzingers-ish vocal melodies. Although some songs boast hooks that sink deep, especially “Mabu” and “Dark Days,” tunes like “Back Against the Wall (with the stadium-sized “woah oh” chorus) and ballad “Yukon” are sterile. Ultimately, there’s too much polish on a record that screams to be raw and exposed. There’s a teenager somewhere whose mind will be blown by these ten songs, who will hopefully discover punk outside of the white noise of internet hype. I’m optimistic like that.
–Sean Arenas (Side One Dummy)