The dream is over. Apparently, that’s what PUP frontman Stefan Babcock was told by a throat specialist who saw the damage he had done to his vocal chords. Thankfully (for us at least), the band’s reaction was “Fuck that doctor, the dream is not over for us” (according to an interview with DIY Mag).
The Dream Is Over, released by Side-One Dummy and Royal Mountain Records, is the second full-length from the Toronto-based punk band. And much like their debut self-titled record, it’s phenomenal. PUP’s brand of punk is loud, filled with power chords and gang vocals, but also hints of harmony and melody. In a lot of ways, they stack up nicely with bands like Japandroids, or other bands who straddle that line between punk rock and straight up rock.
Thematically, The Dream Is Over deals with disillusionment. Whether that’s with your bandmates at the end of a long tour (on a particularly frank and brutally honest “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will”) or endings (“Doubts”) or with your surroundings (“Pine Point”), the album is about dealing with the stuff that happens in everyday life, and eventually overcoming it, one way or another. While this may sound like a pretty bleak description, you’ll come out of The Dream Is Over feeling a little more energized about things.
The album has so many standout gems – not the least of which being the absolutely wonderful blitz of sound that is “DVP”. It’s infectious, it’s loud, it’s really fast, it’s self-critical (check out the lyrics in the video below), and last but not least, it features a shoutout to the Don Valley Parkway. Personally, I like “The Coast” – a song detailing existence in a remote Canadian fishing town. The storytelling in this song, coupled with the dialed-back (at least for PUP) music, is really given a chance to shine in this one.
Catch PUP supporting The Dream Is Over in a city near you very soon. Tour dates here.
5 out of 5 stars
SideOneDummy/Royal Mountain Records
Must-Listen Tracks: “DVP”,
Buy The Dream Is Over: https://dubleplus.com/collections/pup/products/pup-the-dream-is-over?variant=18112185731