That, of course, is bullshit. Because even though the band’s fear of being disingenuous and insincere lies at the heart of this record, there’s no faking anything. Perhaps Robot Writes A Love Song is a little too cutesy, too clever, too PUP-esque, but damn if its infectious melody isn’t still wracked with frayed emotion from a bleeding heart. Waiting is a rumbling punk’n’roll anthem that unites romantic thoughts and therapy in a fiery burst of feeling and uncertainty, while Cutting Off The Corners is PUP’s version of a ballad, all plaintive, regret-laced resignation. That then gives way to the jittery punk stomp of Grim Reaping, which turns the commodification of feeling on its head.
‘It’s honestly starting to seem like an art / How we keep tearing ourselves apart,’ Stefan cries, but whereas earlier that would have seemed a backhanded compliment, by this stage of the record it’s clear that PUP have overthrown all the insecurities that resulted in its making. As is final track, PUPTHEBAND Inc. Is Filing For Bankruptcy, a fake swansong that reasserts PUP’s creativity, originality and passionate intensity while decrying the band for lacking all three. It’s perhaps something only they could pull off, but pulled it off PUP absolutely have, and with raw, emotional vulnerability to boot.
For fans of: Single Mothers, Joyce Manor, Weezer
The Unraveling Of PUPTHEBAND is released on April 1 via Rise/Little Dipper