Puppy – The Goat (Spinefarm Records)
When the hype machine sends itself into overdrive over a new band, it can be greeted with a fair dash of scepticism.
And there has been so much noise generated around Puppy and the release of The Goat that it felt like the band would spin out in a fireball caused by their own fleeting greatness.
But their debut will just add more fuel to that fire, because it’s excellent. This is a band who’ve clearly been influenced by some of the great as you can detect shades of Smashing Pumpkins, the woozy wavy guitar of Weezer and a heavier undertone borrowed from 80s metal.
Jock Norton has a voice that would have been perfect for grunge, but their loss is our gain as he leads Puppy through 12 impeccable songs.
Demons feels like a Ghost song and mate, it slaps. Norton sings about signing things in blood, there’s a conspiratorial breakdown and some guitar work that would convert the non-believes in record time. Honestly, it’s more nourishing than when Jesus fed the 5,000.
But the whole of The Goat should inspire that sort of reaction. Opening track Black Hole kicks things off at a 1,000 miles an hour and it’s a pace that’s kept up throughout the record. ‘So here I stand, with my head in hand, trying to heal my sunburned soul’ is a ripper of a line which is just on example of clever and catchy songwriting that’s the bedrock of this debut.
Don’t let the cute name of this band fool you. This is a heavy record that isn’t afraid to get dirty. Bathe In Blood, Nightwalker, I Feel An Evil and Entombed could all be titles from a deathcore opus and borrows from a Creeper inspired post-emo landscape.
And just like that band, Puppy have taken something old and remodelled it, added some other flashes or inspiration here and there and created a masterpiece.