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Out Now: PUP’s ‘Morbid Stuff,’ an Invigorating New Album Tackling Death, Anxiety, and Emotion with Boundless Energy and Hooks

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PUP named its new album Morbid Stuff, and that’s a solid representation of the themes explored on the Toronto band’s third studio album, which was released on Friday via Little Dipper/Rise. The follow-up to 2016’s The Dream is Over, which attained the band some significant buzz among punk/indie circles, Morbid Stuff ought to make PUP an even bigger player in the music scene.

There’s a hard-charging, hard-riffing aesthetic to the band’s punk/rock/garage brand of music, while guitarist/vocalist Stefan Babcock delivers his lines in an anxious, almost panicked fashion — lines that, by the way, tackle a number of serious emotions, among them depression, fears, anxieties and the like. In that sense, there’s a tremendous sense of catharsis exuded throughout the band’s new record.

“Just ‘cuz you’re sad again/It doesn’t make you special,” shouts Babcock on “Free at Last,” which is a great way to express the fact that everybody deals with these thoughts — people who feel particularly weighed down by theirs may think they’re the only people dealing with those thoughts, but that’s not true. Understanding that can be difficult, of course, due to the power these thoughts have over us sometimes.

Matching this bare emotion to music as aggressive, aesthetically cheerful and melodic works exceptionally well. With Morbid Stuff, PUP have put together a collection of their catchiest, hook-filled songs, the guitars whipping around in a melodic frenzy matching Babcock’s vocals and the charging rhythm section.

PUP (Photo (Vanessa Heins)

PUP (Photo (Vanessa Heins)

The news release for the record sums it up well:

Fitting to their ethos, their new album takes the dichotomy of fun and emotional wreckage in their songs and teeters between gleeful chaos and bleak oblivion while wielding some of the best choruses the band has ever written. It’s the most insightful, sweetest, funniest, sickest, angriest, saddest and most inescapably desperate collection of songs they’ve recorded to date. 

These may be songs about desperation, death and darkness, thoughts we all have on the inside every now and then, but it’s all wrapped up in a musical package that looks cheerful and upbeat to the outside world.

And when you think about it, that’s pretty perfect.

Stream the album below, via Spotify:

And catch PUP on the road in the coming months, though most shows are rapidly selling out, if not already sold out …

4/8/19 Kingston, UK @ The Fighting Cocks ! **SOLD OUT**
4/9/19 – Bristol, UK @ The Fleece % ! **SOLD OUT**
4/10/19 – London, UK @ The Garage % ! **SOLD OUT**
4/11/19 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club % ! **SOLD OUT**
4/12/19 – Glasgow, UK @ Cathouse % ! **SOLD OUT**
4/14/19 – Paris, FR @ La Boule Noire ! **SOLD OUT**
4/15/19 – Dunkirk, FR @ Les 4Ecluses !
4/16/19 – Brussels, BE @ AB Club ! **SOLD OUT**
4/18/19 – Berlin, DE @ Cassiopeia ! **SOLD OUT**
4/19/19 – Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang ! **SOLD OUT**
4/20/19 – Cologne, DE @ MTC Club ! **SOLD OUT**
4/21/19 – Amsterdam, NE @ Upstairs @ Paradiso ! **SOLD OUT**
4/25/19 – Boston, MA @ Royale # ^ **SOLD OUT**
4/26/19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel # ^ **SOLD OUT**
4/29/19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer # ^ **SOLD OUT**
4/30/19 – Pittsburgh, PA @ REX Theater $ ^ **SOLD OUT**
5/1/19 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom $ ^
5/3/19 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom $ ^
5/4/19 – Chicago, IL @ Metro $ ^ **SOLD OUT**
5/5/19 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe $ ^ **SOLD OUT**
5/6/19 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater $
5/8/19 – Dallas, TX @ Trees $ ^
5/9/19 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk $ ^
5/10/19 – Houston, TX @ Rockefeller’s $ ^
5/11/19 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks $ ^
5/13/19 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West $ ^ **SOLD OUT**
5/14/19 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle $ ^
5/15/19 – Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle $ ^
5/17/19 – Washington, DC @ The Black Cat $ ^ **SOLD OUT**
5/18/19 – Boston, MA @ Royale $ ^ **SOLD OUT**
5/19/19 – Sainte-Therese, QC @ Santa Teresa Festival
5/21/19 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom $ ^
5/22/19 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts $ ^
5/23/19 – Chicago, IL @ Metro $ ^ **SOLD OUT**
6/7/19 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall # **SOLD OUT**
6/8/19 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall # **SOLD OUT**
6/19/19 – San Diego, CA @ The Irenic + ^
6/20/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom + ^ **SOLD OUT**
6/21/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom + ^ **SOLD OUT**
6/22/19 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore + ^ **SOLD OUT**
6/24/19 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom + ^ **SOLD OUT**
6/25/19 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox + ^
6/27/19 – Boise, ID @ The Olympic + ^
6/28/19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue + ^
6/29/19 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre + ^
7/1/19 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf + ^
7/2/19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom + ^
7/3/19 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory + ^
7/6/19 Ottawa, ON @ RBC Bluesfest
7/21/19 – Toronto, ON @ RBC Echo Beach ~
8/9/19 – Tolmin, SI @ Punk Rock Holiday
8/14/19 – Bellaria-Igea Marina, IT @ Bay Fest
8/16/19 – 8/18/19 – Grosspösna, DE @ Highfield Festival
8/17/19 – Hasselt, BE @ Pukkelpop
8/20/19 – Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade Bristol
8/21/19 – Nottingham, UK @ Rough Trade Nottingham
8/23/19 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
8/24/19 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival

# – with support from Diet Cig
^ – with support from Ratboys
! – with support from Milk Teeth
% – with support from Gender Roles
$ – with support from Casper Skulls
+ – with support from Beach Bunny
~ – with support from Twin Peaks & Charly Bliss
& – with support from BRASS
= – with support from Pkew Pkew Pkew
? – with support from The Drew Thomson Foundation

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