Being together for five years, the Illinois based band Knuckle Puck have released a handful of EPs that combined the sounds of old school punk rock mixed with a Brand New-esque style of emo to produce some hard hitting music. Having been a notable newcomer to the scene, Knuckle Puck have been gathering fans at a fair pace on both sides of the Atlantic. With this record being their first full-length LP, it will no doubt help speed this up to a rate of knots.
‘Copacetic’ is a raw outburst of punk rock that would blind anyone in its path. The instrumentation overall is outstanding, with all members of the five-piece putting in their all. The drums are ridiculously good, so tight and in lock with the rest of the band that you would struggle to fit a hair in between it. The guitars are very well played and provide the meat to each track, with the drums and bass being the bones, but it’s vocalist Joe Taylor that breathes life into this creation. His visceral vocal melodies are sung with so much passion, it just makes the whole album such an intense listen.
From the get-go, ‘Wall To Wall (Depreciation)’ hits out with a fury of aggressive noise and emotive lyrics. Its chorus reaches heights similar to what The Wonder Years are capable of, proving for a great listen. This style and general sound is the vein of the record, and it usually stays in this area and rarely lets up for things to settle down. However, when the band do, it still provides a powerful message, but at a slightly different angle.
The band reach a high in the final cut of ‘Copacetic’ with the track ‘Untitled’, which combines the soft moments with the hard to produce an epic closing track of massive proportions. From lullaby-like guitars in the beginning, to the surge of distortion and crushing drums and back again, the band come into their own. These guys use elements of the pop-punk genre for a seasoning on the music rather that soaking it all in it. Knuckle Puck are a band that will change what the boundaries of punk can do while still keeping the initial structure of it the same.
Written by Ewan MacDonald