CopaceticKnuckle Puck Label: Rise Records Released: 07.31.15 Review by Matt Vogel | July 31, 2015 at 4:40 PM
After a number of EPs and supporting roles on some high-profile tours, including an unexpected stint with The Maine, Chicago pop-punkers Knuckle Puck finally released their debut album, Copacetic. Theirs is an album that needs to be listened to a couple of times in order to be fully appreciated. At first listen, itâ€™s easy to compare Knuckle Puck to their peers: theyâ€™re a pleasantly less polished version of Real Friends or an American version of Neck Deep, a comparison that makes the most sense on â€œPretenseâ€. By the third or fourth listen, you pick up on the differences that set them apart, whether itâ€™s vocalist Joe Taylorâ€™s ability to move between his normally gruff voice and a crooning lament in â€œPonderâ€ (â€œIâ€™ll tell you everything is copaceticâ€), or the ballsy move of having a four minute outro on the closing track, â€œUntitledâ€.
Songs would be in danger of blending together if it werenâ€™t for the choruses that beg to be shouted while standing in a crowded sweaty club, particularly on â€œSwingâ€ and lead single â€œDisdainâ€. Their lyrical style hasnâ€™t changed that much from their last EP, While I Stay Secluded, but thatâ€™s not a bad thing. Themes of feeling pressured (â€œConstant pressure weighing down on me, It gets better, they want me to believeâ€) or lost or betrayed (â€œYou had me in your crosshairsâ€) are familiar and relatable, and somehow manage not to feel cliched. Copacetic is a natural progression for the band who is steadily rising through the ranks of pop-punk royalty.
Buy It, Stream It, or Skip It? Stream it the next time youâ€™re rolling down the streets on your skateboard feeling misunderstood.