Knuckle Puck: Shapeshifter 

Release Date: 13th October   

Label: Rise Records

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Knuckle Puck have done it again. Kicking around since 2011 and signed to the critically acclaimed label Rise Records for the past 3 years ( home to some of the best pop-punk bands in the world right now including PVRIS and Of Mice And Men) it’s no wonder they’re doing well. Their debut album  “Copacetic” placed in the Top 10 of five different Billboard charts. If this wasn’t enough it also earned a nomination for Album of the Year at the 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards. Their newest offering “Shapeshifter” is expected to outshine their previous album. It has  a more mature edge and showcases the talent which has been honed since their last release.It keeps the core pop- punk values we know and love such as catchy choruses and hooky riffs, whilst still bringing something new to the table. It’s anything but the same old formula tossed into the generic music machine.

The album contains 10 tracks and it is really is a perfect ten. The order of tracks are: “Nervous Passenger”,”Twist”,”Double Helix”,” Gone”,”Everyone lies to me”,”Stuck in our ways”,”Want me around”,”Conduit”,”Wait” and last but certainly not least “Plastic brains”.

The recurring theme of identity and staying true to yourself is immediately noticeable within the album. When they first started the Band got their name from a Stick To Your Guns t-shirt which said “Knuckle Puck Crew”. Halfway through the recording process the Band literally did ‘stick to their guns’ and stay true to themselves,as they felt the music they were recording wasn’t right. When asked about their new album they said there “Was a glaring parallel between what was going on with the record and what we were writing about at the time. Although it was tumultuous, I truly think we wouldn’t have written the same record without going through what we did.”

“Double Helix” is a standout and contains the rawest lyrics from the album such as “The viewpoint never changes when your stuck inside a memory” and “Your fraying at the fabric, I’m pulling at the strands“. It’s a song which is about DNA and only wanting to keep the good and change the “strands”. It breaks into a powerful chorus, with the fast pace leaving us feel as if there is a sense of urgency, for the singer to untangle himself. Regarding the album Nick Casasanto said “When you reach early adulthood and start to see your life take shape, it’s also important to shape your identity and break yourself free from anything that might be holding you down”. This seemingly fits behind the process of “Double Helix” and “Conduit”.

“Nervous passenger” is a short and sweet introduction to the new era of Knuckle Puck with soft strumming which contrasts to louder vocals with riffs. The idea of being a ‘Nervous Passenger” adds to the idea that we too as listeners, are going on a journey with the band through the album.

There are an abudence of classic poppy, catchy songs such as “Gone” and “Want me around” to keep any die hard pop- punk fan happy. The debut song released “Gone” fades into a powerful hook, similar to a kick in the teeth with an attention grabbing first line- “I did what I did best and forgot myself”. The namesake “Shapeshifter” has connotations with changing state, and fits in well with the changing rhyhmn of the song as they are most definitely hooky and loud.

It’s a strong offering from Knuckle Puck and it’s guaranteed to be exceptional to experience live. They’re currently touring the US with support acts Movements, With Confidence and  Homesafe. However you’ll also be able to catch them here in the UK for their December 2017 tour after they’ve completed their tour of the US. Support acts haven’t been confirmed yet, so we shall have to wait and see. However make sure to book your tickets soon to avoid disappointment!

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Recommended Track: Double Helix

Rate: 10/10

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