I first heard about PUP last fall while working on World Cafe’s Sense of Place: Toronto spotlight. The band was singled out by Frank Yang of the blog Chromewaves as one of five Toronto artists to watch. “They’re pop punk,” he said, “but without the suburban mall baggage that style tends to bring. There’s no Blink 182-ness, no sophomoric shenanigans. It’s melodic, loud, fast, aggressive.” I immediately knew from his description that I was going to love PUP, and when a copy of their self-titled SideOneDummy debut made its way to my inbox, it did not disappoint. Their knack for abrasive sonic grit and earworm singalong hooks parallels first-gen punk icons Buzzcocks; though perhaps I say that because they soundchecked with a sick cover of “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).” In any case, PUP the album is by far one of my faves of the year, and PUP the live band has on its two visits to Philadelphia developed a rep for unhinged live shows. At Golden Tea House, singer-guitarist Stefan Babcock climbed the bannister; at Union Transfer, he crowd surfed on a sea of outstretched hands while the rest of the band thrashed out. Earlier that day, PUP stopped by the WXPN studios to warm up with a hard-hitting live set for the Indie Rock Hit Parade; stream and download it below.
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