It’s been two long years since the Illinois pop-punk group Knuckle Puck released their debut album Copacetic.
But now, after the long anticipated wait, their second album Shapeshifter is finally on shelves everywhere.
The beginning of the album is the calm before the storm, as ‘Nervous Passenger’ is a short but sweet opening. With vocalist Joe Taylor’s distinct voice ringing out above the more tranquil backing of the band. The unmistakeable tones of the guitars are what give the band their own little charm – and it’s a comfort to hear as the end of the song flows straight in to an energetic and compelling ‘Twist’.
Even from the beginning, Shapeshifter is already everything a pop-punk album should be – lively, playful, and down-right catchy. Tracks such as ‘Double Helix’, ‘Gone’ and ‘Everyone Lies to Me’ are prime examples of how Knuckle Puck can stay consistently strong throughout their albums.
Drummer John Siorek’s skilful patterns really come in to play during ‘Stuck in Our Ways’, making the song truly special. With the impressive drum rolls nearer the end of the track, it’s no wonder that Knuckle Puck really come in to their own in this new album. Alongside the dynamic guitar riffs from Kevin Maida and Nick Casasanto, and the persistent basslines from Ryan Rumchaks, each track has its own unique appeal. This, of course, continues to show in ‘Want Me Around’.
We come to a moment in the album where ‘Conduit’ slows the general feeling down for a moment, and really shows off how Taylor’s vocals can adapt to a calmer vibe. The lyricism in this track cannot be faulted, as Taylor’s voice rings out “If all you are is under the surface, then why is it so hard to be a conduit?” A more desperate and weighty track, yet one that really shows the bands potential, and ties in nicely with the following song ‘Wait’.
Bringing the album to a close is ‘Plastic Brains’, a track that builds throughout to create a perfect end to the record. Harmonious yet powerful, Knuckle Puck successfully tie together an all-round outstanding album – a record that they have every right to be proud of.
Knuckle Puck will be touring the UK in December, with support from Movements and Tiny Moving Parts. The dates read:
7: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
8: Leeds, Key Club
9: Glasgow, SWG3
10: Newcastle, Riverside
12: Manchester, Club Academy
13: Bristol, Fleece
14: Southampton, 1865
15: London, Electric Ballroom