Review: Pup’s ‘The Dream Is Over’ is The Punk Record We Needed This Summer

Posted 2 years ago by Joel Funk

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Pup is a band whose energy lives up to their name in spades. This Canadian quartet is best known for their brand of raucous and aggressively insatiable brand of punk rock. This was evident on their self-titled debut; an album that, with the help of SideOne Dummy Records, quickly captured the attention of the scene and saw them paraded as one of the most promising young bands to join their roster.

In the two years that followed that release Pup embarked on a seemingly endless slew of tour dates, which eventually lead to the shredding of frontman Stefan Babcock’s vocal chords. With all of this in mind, Pup still found the time to write and record the follow-up to their 2014 debut; an album full of rowdy and raucous punk rock aptly titled ‘The Dream Is Over.’

Our first taste of the album came from the all-out assault that is “DVP.” It’s a relentless and never-tiring song with a hook destined for abrasive and shouty sing-a-longs that makes it the perfect song of the Summer the corner of the world that Pup has carved for themselves. Thus, making this the ideal first single, even if it was released before ‘The Dream Is Over’ was announced. The song feels even better in tandem with opening track, “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will.”

The song starts out with just some simple strumming and Babcock’s vocal crooning a dramatization of just how tired of your bandmates you can get after touring as relentlessly as they have. The song explodes around the one minute mark and never really stops to catch a breath; the shouting of “Why can’t we just get along?” is bound to embed itself in your brain and the gang vocals and energy flow seamlessly into “DVP.”

If these singles weren’t enough to prove that ‘The Dream Is Over’ is the punk record the world needed right now, then I don’t know what will. This album is a collection of these bombastic and angsty songs that can feel both destructive and like the building blocks of a career that is destined for greatness. Just look to songs like “Sleep In The Heat” or “The Coast” for cementation of this idea. The former feels so huge that it’s almost anthemic while the latter has this wall of sound moment of crashing and with strained, yelping vocals is without question one of the most cathartic moments to make the album. These songs are all written so well, and with such clear intent that it’s difficult to believe that this is only their second album.

Pup may have captured our attention with their self-titled album, but ‘The Dream Is Over’ is going to be the record that wins everyone over. It’s a youthfully strident album that begs to be heard; from the almost unbelievably catchy hooks to the moments where this album feels like it’s going to cave in on itself, Pup knows how to make it all work together cohesively. ‘The Dream Is Over’ is the punk record we needed this summer, and while Pup may still be just pups in the genre, it’s a safe bet that this album is going to make them the flag bearers for a generation.