PUP release their darkest yet, strongest album after playing together for a decade

By Kate Streader

There isn't any misguidance with its name. Morbid Stuff is exactly that: morbid.

Melancholia, existentialism and self-destruction are the telltale signs of the sacrosanct tortured artist. Morbid Stuff presents these very themes in its frank depiction of depression, though it’s sure not to fetishize the reality of falling into the throes of mental chaos. Thematically, Morbid Stuff is PUP’s heaviest work yet, however themes of death and depression are often juxtaposed by buoyant, pop-punk melodies as the record toes the line between utter defeat and manically laughing in the face of darkness.

Overdubbed shouting vocals create a rich, anthemic feel across the album while tongue-in-cheek quips keep the record from becoming too, well, morbid.

Serrated riffs, staccato drums and melodic curveballs epitomise the furious disarray of an unwell mind. ‘Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashley’ sees PUP questioning reality as self-medication and detachment from the world cause perception to grow hazy. The title track pilfers through the absurd fixations of anxiety, like wondering if any former lovers have died. Much like the surprise pounce of the Black Dog, the album takes a sharp turn with ‘Full Blown Meltdown’, offering a thrashing, guttural melody that errs into hardcore territory.

The record aurally personi es a mind engulfed by depression without succumbing to a ‘woe is me’ narrative. Sonically rich and full of surprises, Morbid Stuff is PUP’s strongest work yet.