“I’m growing up and giving in,” sings PUP’s Stefan Babcock in ‘Can’t Win’, a statement that, based on the rest of the Canadians’ follow-up to their 2014 self-titled debut, he probably doesn’t mean. Theirs is a tightly-wound coil of self-deprecation, wasted opportunity and bubbling-under garage punk. You’d harbour a guess their collective record collections (and recreational activities, for that matter) would match those of kindred spirits FIDLAR and Wavves.
Like their Californian peers, PUP have taken the Peter Pan mentality of ‘90s pop-punk (the childishness of Blink-182, the fuck-up lyrics of Green Day, plus a few guitar licks from ‘Blue’ album Weezer for good measure. While ‘The Dream Is Over’ doesn’t quite match the ebullient nature of last year’s ‘Too’ or ‘V’, there’s still much to fall for: the gang vocals in ‘My Life Is Over And I Couldn’t Be Happier’ are a joy, as is the “ooh” chorus of ‘DVP’. Closer ‘Pine Point’ is also surprisingly sentimental, showing the dark side of PUP isn’t solely inward-looking.