Puppy – ‘The Goat’

By Dave Stewart

Puppy is a name for a young dog – also known as a pupper or a doggo, depending on who you talk to. Puppy is also the name of a three piece rock outfit hailing from London. This article focuses on the latter, although there may be a few canine references littered through it. Sorry in advance.

Forming in 2015, Puppy have been smashing out their own unique brand of rock to audiences all over the UK. Over the years they’ve received impressive praise too, being likened to legends such as Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Deftones, to name a few. All those bands are considered to be innovators, which is something that can also be said for Puppy. There isn’t a band in the UK right now that sounds like they do, and their new record ‘The Goat’ is testament to that. It barks very loudly and bites very hard.

From beginning to end, this is an absolute riff-fest. There are mammoth guitar sections flying in from every angle, and they never stop coming. The first riff of ‘Vengeance’ sounds like something one of the big four would’ve written in their prime, while ‘And So I Burn’ is a throwback to the new wave of British heavy metal, plodding along at perfect head-banging pace and completely drenched in swagger. ‘Entombed’ is one of the heavier tracks on the record, projecting darkness right from the off and never letting off the gas. This isn’t just a guitar heavy record, though. This dog knows lots of tricks.

Vocalist Jock Norton has a very unique tone to his voice, sounding both sound old school and new at the same time, and he uses that to his advantage. When you drape his vocals over tracks like ‘Bathe In Blood’ it’s as though you’re rediscovering grunge for the first time. Apply those same vocals to the huge choruses of ‘Black Hole’ and they soar, instantly burrowing their melodies into your brain. The chorus in ‘Just Like You’ is equally enormous, with luscious layered vocal harmonies acting as the perfect compliment to the solid guitar work beneath it. This is an incredibly well thought out record, with no filler whatsoever. Every track is huge.

Simply put, this record is great. Guitar heads and chorus hook buffs will both find themselves happy here. If you put Metallica and Weezer in a room and forced them to write an album, it’d end up sounding something like this – old school meaty riffs and classic groove butt heads with indulgent vocal melodies, catchy choruses and downright feel good vibes. This record makes them stand out amongst the many up and coming bands in the UK, cementing them as ones to watch. Puppy have left the kennel and they’re already running free across the UK; if you aren’t running alongside them, grab some gravy bites (or dentastix, gotta look after those gums) and join in. Woof.

DAVE STEWART

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