PUP – THE DREAM IS OVER
Release Date: May 27, 2016
℗ 2016 SideOneDummy Records
- If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will
- Sleep In The Heat
- The Coast
- Old Wounds
- My Life Is Over And I Couldn’t Be Happier
- Can’t Win
- Familiar Patterns
- Pine Point
(Review by Nisa Ates)
Imagine throwing everything away for a shot at chasing your dreams. Quitting your day job to start a band and pray shit doesn’t hit the fan. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Life’s a gamble like that.
For PUP, getting to where they are now didn’t come easy. After the success of their debut self-titled, the Toronto punks threw themselves into a relentless touring schedule. Now imagine, 450 shows later, being told by some doctor that your efforts have backfired and damaged your singer’s vocal chords – that your dream of being a band is over.
PUP has one thing to say to that: Fuck you.
Coming out on May 27th, The Dream Is Over is exactly that – a fuck you to the doubts and anxieties and everything in between. Described by Babcock himself as an album that embraces disillusionment and growing up, the songs on this record strike a chord so familiar to the realisation that life is not always what it seems.
Opening track If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will is what I can only describe as the happiest manifestation of anger and resentment possible – I guess it’s a healthy way to express yourself, right? The song perfectly sums up what constant touring can do to you, and how being stuck day in and day out with the same people can get a little old after a while. So old, that you just might want to murder your band members. Or something. You wouldn’t tell by the music itself though, as upbeat guitar riffs and sing-along gang vocals blare through the speakers – you can already picture sweaty, grin-donning fans jumping along to the beat live.
You then have songs like DVP – a song about being drunk and complaining about your life and relationship issues to your girlfriend’s sister on the phone – and Doubts – which is pretty self explanatorily about reaching a point in your life where you feel you’ve hit rock bottom – all the while paired with angry lyrics and happy rhythms. We’ve all been there, right?
Sleep In The Heat comes in just as joyfully, a tribute to Babcock’s late pet chameleon Norman who died after having her tongue amputated due to infection. You never think you’d resonate with a song about a deceased reptile until it just happens.
Bringing the tempo down a notch, The Coast breaks up the seemingly poppy vibes of the record. The deep bass and slow strums of the guitar together with almost lethargic drumming gives off a murkier sensation than those of the previous songs but continue to hit hard with its screaming chorus, mirrored by the fast and angry Old Wounds, a two minute twenty song with no room for a quiet moment.
The album is brought back to its ‘upbeat despite lyrics laced with frustration’ persona with My Life Is Over And I Couldn’t Be Happier, Can’t Win and Familiar Patterns, you can’t help but want to dance along despite the lyrical content – I guess this is what they meant by coming to terms with growing up?
Pine Point brings the album to a close in an almost ballad-like way. A song about a now non-existent town in the Northwest Territories in Canada, the song dolefully acknowledges the idea of erased memories in this place that doesn’t exist anymore. It’s soft and slow and the familiar chorus of vocals makes this a cathartic end to an honest album.
The Dream Is Over is the soundtrack to your quarter-life crisis and it’s okay, you just need to turn it up and let the music wash over you