ALBUM REVIEW: Knuckle Puck – ‘Copacetic’

Knuckle Puck copacetic

Copacetic‘ is Chicago, Illinois based Knuckle Puck’s debut album, following 3 previous EP’s and a split with Wrexham based pop-punkers Neck Deep. Opening with the uptempo “Wall To Wall (Depreciation)” it pulls no punches straight from the get go.

This leads into the first single from the album “Disdain”, an extremely catchy, excellent track about the struggles of a long-distance relationship and disdain one can develop for said distance. It opens with vocalist Joe Taylor exclaiming: “I’ve got a lot to talk about. My disdain for the Pacific threw my name into distant mouths.” This is just one of the many standout lyrics this album has to offer which I can imagine being shouted back at them at shows with as much emotion and gusto as they are sung to us here.

The vocal work is excellent and mixes incredibly well with the rest of the band, the dual vocals in points works very well too. Lyrically, the album tries to deal in positivity, the title ‘Copacetic’ is a state of being content after all. The band themselves said: ‘A few of the songs on the refer things that “bother us, but overall it’s about saying, “I’m fine. I’m alright”’, case in point “I’m not sad, I’m through sulking, I’m not breaking, I’m not buckling” from standout track “Poison Pen Letter” and the final lyrics on the record, from the incredible near 8 minute masterpiece “Untitled” which really captures the mood and attitude of the entire record: “I built my guard up to the clouds. I’ll tell you everything is copacetic. I’ve been much better but at least I’m healing”

Musically, the album is very accomplished, they have expanded on their sound adding more variances than ever before, for example the 3 Doors Down inspired opening to “In Your Crosshairs” and the superb combination of acoustic and electric guitar work in “Poison Pen Letter” which shows maturity and separates them from a lot of other pop-punk bands around at the moment. There are many more highlights on the album including the second single ‘True Contrite” with its extended musical outro, “Evergreen” and “Ponder” which contains the recurring title-line, if you will, “I’ll tell you everything is copacetic.”

Pop-punk’s stock seems to be very much on the rise at this present moment in time, and this band is no different. The album has a clear Story So Far influence, but it has something different about it at the same time. Little variances and influences from different genres shine through in parts to create a little niche for them. Overall, this is an extremely strong opening salvo from a young pop-punk band who’s stock is very much on the rise (51,000+ fans on Facebook).

At 11 tracks, the album doesn’t outstay its welcome either, making it a very real contender for one of the best pop-punk albums of the year.

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