Posts Tagged ‘Morbid Stuff’

See the source image

The Tiny Desk Concert is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It’s the same spirit ,stripped-down sets, an intimate setting, just a different space. For PUP’s Tiny Desk (home) concert, the Toronto group refused to dial down the volume, filling Babcock’s neatly-furnished living room – complete with an Ontario pennant  and just maybe making a few enemies down the street in the process.

My neighbours hate us, and I don’t blame them, Babcock said. Volume complaints aside, that admission feels like a perfect summary of the band’s penchant for spinning stories of chaos into catchy-as-hell, shout-along songs. With bandmates Nestor Chumak, Zack Mykula and Steve Sladkowski masked to adhere to COVID safety protocol, PUP wastes no time here, immediately setting the tone with “Rot” from the group’s aptly-titled 2020 EP, “This Place Sucks A**. From there, the set spans the band’s discography, spotlighting two cuts (“Kids” and “Scorpion Hill”) from 2019’s Morbid Stuff and “Reservoir,” a track off the group’s debut.

And to NPR officemates who think you’ve escaped an earsplitting in-office set with this (home) concert, let the handmade “Ceci n’est pas une Tiny Desk” (“This is not a Tiny Desk”) sign serve as a warning: When the Tiny Desk returns to NPR HQ and the U.S.-Canada border reopens, prepare to have your workday interrupted.

The Band: Stefan Babcock: vocals, guitar Nestor Chumak: bass, vocals Zack Mykula – drums, vocals Steven Sladkowski: guitar, vocals

Set List: “Rot” “Kids” “Reservoir” “Scorpion Hill”

Another band we count as friends are Toronto’s PUP, who play a more aggressive, shout-y form of punk. Widerman credits Sum 41 guitarist Dave Baksh for giving invaluable help during Monster Truck’s early years; their 2011 EP Brown is named for the swarthy guitarist, who lent a ton of gear for its recording. While there isn’t necessarily a well-defined Canadian sound, one thing many players have in common is a focus on subtlety rather than pyrotechnics. 

“One of the things I’ve noticed with Canadian artists in different media is there’s a lot of individuality,” Wilcox says. “Everyone from Neil Young to Joni Mitchell to whoever. Partly because there’s a certain feeling of isolation in winter. I don’t know.”

“I prefer guitar players who are able to tell stories through what they play,” says PUP guitarist Steve Sladowski, who cites Mitchell and Bruce Cockburn as some of his favourite Canadian players.

“Even someone like Alex Lifeson is somehow an understated guitar player. Playing in Rush, in a power trio, he’s happy to play what needs to be there. There’s some way of playing this really technical music and really proggy but never overplaying.” This guys have great pop sensibility and a penchant for great melodies, all dressed up in a jagged suit of chaos and energy. 

http://

For PUP, a band whose breakout album begins with the all-time great kick off line “If this tour doesn’t kill you then I will,” the only thing worse than being trapped on tour for a year is being trapped without the possibility of touring for a year. Innumerable great young bands have seen their touring careers stalled by the pandemic, and PUP is one of them: Instead of seizing the momentum of 2019’s phenomenal Morbid Stuff with another round of shows, the Toronto punk band is trapped at home and getting their aggression out with a characteristically misanthropic EP, This Place Sucks Ass. Titled after a routine tour refrain-turned-pandemic commentary (“at this moment in time, it feels so fucking real—wherever you are, it sucks ass right now,” frontman Stefan Babcock explains), the 17-minute release compresses the band’s infectious feel-bad punk energy into five new ragers and one cover.

While the sounds might vary, one thing that unites guitar bands is the hours they spend slogging it out on Canada’s endless highways (when you calculate the distance between Canada’s big cities, it starts making a lot of sense that Tom “Life is a Highway” Cochrane is a canuck). 

Sladkowski points to two other highly aggro bands who have managed long careers in the north as examples of the creative risks bands can take in Canada

Released October 23rd, 2020

PUP

Pop punk isn’t dead—it’s just evolving, and nothing showcases that better than the progression of Pup. Their self-titled album from 2013 started off like any other catchy, poppy band obsessed with group chants, which is precisely what we needed at the time. 2013 was a pretty desolate year for pop punk, with a Wonder Years album The Greatest Generationand The Story So Far’s What You Don’t See, but not much else resembling anything you’d want to listen to outside of a Warped Tour playlist. Pup were the answer to our post–Bomb the Music Industry!, pre-worry. years, changing the mold of what we thought the genre had disintegrated into.

From Pup “UP” to 2016’s The Dream Is Over, the band explored their anger, sadness, and general discontent with the direction their lives had gone. While those albums were heavy-hitters in their own right, they were made for a specific time in Pup’s life. Like their predecessors, Pup have done what all pop punk bands must eventually do: they grew up. On “Morbid Stuff”, you can see their age. The group chants are louder, harsher, more unapologetic, while their words are uncensored, confident, and sincere. They’ve embraced the uniqueness of their perspectives, and in turn created a piece of confessional art. Morbid Stuff came at a time when we’re all craving transparency and honesty, and told us it’s OK to feel like shit. It’s OK to say no. It’s OK to tell people when you care about them. It’s OK to be loud. Instead of simply dealing with the curveballs that life throws your way, this record presents the option of fighting back.

Toronto band, Pup have released a further video for the album’s title track that gives us a glimpse at their live show, but from the fan’s perspective. The new video for “Morbid Stuff” was recorded live and shot on cheap, hand-held cameras that were given out to 19 gig-goers that the band personally connected with in advance of their recent London dates. This video continues PUP’s longstanding tradition of putting their fans first, like when they asked fans to record their own version of “Free At Last” without ever even hearing the song and only knowing the lyrics and chords, or when Pup leaked the news of their latest album and new song “Kids,” via a zine sent to fans through their Little Dipper label imprint. The “Morbid Stuff” video, which premiered yesterday across the nineteen fans’ social media accounts, showcases the sweat-stained euphoria of the band’s show and once again captures the unique bond between Pup and the people that come to see them live, screaming every word.

Toronto rockers PUP released their great third album Morbid Stuff which found the band crafting their most cathartic collection of songs yet. With blazing guitars, blasting drums and the perfect amount of gang vocals, Morbid Stuff, as described by a friend, is nostalgic, sassy and it fucking rips!

Image may contain: text

Taking the piss of Halloween themed TV specials, Toronto’s Pup present “Growing Up Ghouls”, aka their new visuals for ‘Morbid Stuff’ fave ‘See You At Your Funeral’.

Titled “Self Care: A Horror Story”, it follows different lols and spooky themed tricks to stop you from feeling heartbroken, including to exercise (your demons) and achieving inner peace. Easy, eh?

Taken from their third record ‘Morbid Stuff’, when we spoke to them back in April about the album, frontman Stefan Babcock explained of its origins: “I was bored as fuck, sitting around thinking about all this morbid stuff. Like if anyone I’ve slept with is dead and I got stuck on death and dying and obsessive thoughts that won’t let up […] I think that’s part of growing up and becoming more mature, realising that it’s just not gonna fucking work out. It’s just not going to. Being able to let go, for better or worse, makes it become a bit easier with each passing year.”

Image may contain: text that says 'PUP MORBID STUFF OUT NOW'

A new PUP video is always an event. Over the past six years we’ve seen the Toronto punks impaled, demolished, and nearly killed; covered, 8-bitted, and animated and today, we get a stylish crossover of their two preferred genres.

The new clip for “Sibling Rivalry” blends the body horror imagery and cartoon aesthetic of previous videos to riff on the anxieties of travel, with exaggerated safety brochures and warning signage to complement Stef Babcock’s furious lyricism inspired by a camping trip gone awry.

Additionally, the video offers autobiographical insight into the essential track from one of thebest albums of the year (so far), contextualizing the lyrics as stemming from an actual series of camping trips Babcock has taken with his sister. Things end a little sweeter than they began when the video concludes with a dedication to the band’s siblings, before a brief stills montage of PUP on tour together.

Things end a little sweeter than they began when the video concludes with a dedication to the band’s siblings, before a brief stills montage of PUP on tour together.

Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting and outdoor

“Should” is a tricky word. It sets unrealistic expectations. It’s guilt-inducing. I should go to the gym today. I should hang out with my friends more. I should be happy. PUP drummer Zack Mykula knows all about this: “The expectation that you’d be happy just because you’re a semi-successful touring musician—it’s like the other side of that sword is the self-shame that comes with acknowledging you should be happy,” he says. “‘Should’ is the operative word because ‘should’ is inherently a self-shaming word.”

Some might place this burdensome expectation on the Toronto punk band because the members have done a lot since they released their self-titled debut album in 2013. But even saying “a lot” is an understatement: The four-piece set a goal to play two hundred shows that year, and they played over two hundred and fifty. They followed up their beloved debut with another critical darling, The Dream Is Over, in 2016To top it all off, the band releases music videos that can be described as nothing less than iconic.

Now, PUP who are made up of singer Stefan Babcock, bassist Nestor Chumak, and guitarist Steve Sladkowski, in addition to Mykula are back with their most ambitious album yet, Morbid StuffOn the surface it’s a fun, bopping record with nearly forty minutes of rambunctious headbangers and mighty anthems.

But leading up to the creation of Morbid Stuffthe four guys were going through some bleak times.

Hiding in plain sight, beyond the commanding guitars, pulsing bass, and red-blooded drumming, this impassioned album is dark. Real dark. Babcock explores the shadowy recesses of his mind—the parts that most of us would prefer to avoid—to dive into ideas of self-destruction, numbness, restlessness, and isolation.

“We should be really stoked on life,” Babcock says. “That can be a tough thing to deal with, because your happiness or sadness can exist totally independent of things that are going on around you. We were always wondering what was going to come next for us in our lives.” .Luckily for PUP, these are the conditions in which they thrive creatively. But instead of extracting musical inspiration from other artists, Babcock turned to an unlikely medium: podcasts. He explains that when he’s deep in the writing process, listening to music can be the last thing he wants to do in his spare time. His favorite podcasts include a smattering of hockey-related series, as well as true crime pods Dirty John and Dr. Death.

“Especially listening to Dr. Death and Dirty John, I would be like, ‘Man, everybody’s life is way more fucked up than mine,’” Babcock laughs. “This isn’t that bad.” In Babcock’s words, Morbid Stuff became like his own personal podcast. One where he could be utterly vulnerable and comfortable with himself.

“I felt like I was just figuring out my voice, and figuring out how to say the things I wanted to say properly, and just ran with it,” Babcock says. “Sometimes probably too much. Should have fucking reined it in a little bit.”

It’s true—Babcock doesn’t shy away from divulging his most intimate thoughts on this record. From wondering whether he should have given in to his demons on “Kids,” to not being able to recognize himself in the mirror anymore on “Scorpion Hill,” he lays it all on the table.

You can find the fun dotted throughout Morbid Stuff,  in the form of wry jokes and black witticisms. At the end of “See You at Your Funeral,” Babcock throttles up to a panicky scream: “I hope the world explodes / I hope that we all die / We can watch the highlights in hell / I hope they’re televised.” And in the middle of a Satanic ritual (or is it just a trip gone wrong?) described in “Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashley,” Babcock grills the listener, asking an important but ridiculous question: “Do you prefer Ashley or Mary Kate?”

Uniting all eleven tracks is the idea of sticking together. Despite the self-loathing, despite the apathy, the band members still have one another. Even though Babcock decries the “mind-numbing reality of a godless existence” in “Kids,” it ultimately doesn’t matter, because he’s “pretty happy lying here with you / It’s pretty good to feel something.” We may all be losers, but at least we’re losers together. That’s what makes our pretty terrible world a little more bearable—and what makes this record a delight to listen to.

“Morbid Stuff” out on April 5th

No photo description available.

Image may contain: 8 people, text

This is three minutes and thirty seconds of bombastic youth, all ramshackle and rambunctious, full of sweaty anxiety and shouted brashness, and I love it more than I should. Also: we should all admire the way lead singer Stefan Babcock pulls off his wordy, Craig Finn-like disregard of the rhythm/time signature. Also: more songs with words like ‘calamity’ in them please. Also: I am a sucker for hook-laden melodic punk that reminds me of when I was much younger/not so, so, so old.

“Kids,” the lead single from the Canadian punk outfit’s forthcoming album Morbid Stuff, careens in the background with their usual furious energy as PUP find themselves in Toronto in the year 2059. They’re not exactly where you’d expect. Bassist Nestor Chumak is dealing with a resentful daughter, Zack Mykula plays drums on the street for apathetic passersby, guitarist Steve Sladkowski clings onto his youth with an ageless head device and as for vocalist Stefan Babcock—well, you’ll have to watch to find out what happens to him.

We are so so stoked to let you know that our third album, MORBID STUFF, will be out on April 5th! We worked so hard on this thing and cannot wait to share it with ya!!! If you ordered our latest zine, you’ve probably already heard our new song “Kids”. New album ‘Morbid Stuff’ out April 5th

No photo description available.