Knuckle Puck Shapeshifter Album Review


While quite a large fan base existed before, Knuckle Puck were thrust into the limelight of pop punk, becoming ambassadors of the genre with the release of their last album Copacetic. An album full of heartfelt songs, big choruses and an aggressive sense of melody that is mostly unmatched by most of their peers. A sound that leaves no doubt in ones mind that they are listening to Knuckle Puck.

Two years on, the band are back with their follow up Shapeshifter. Again, this album is undoubtedly Knuckle Puck, from the get go the evidence is there; the album opens with quiet strummings before vocalist Joe Taylor launches into the first of many memorable lines that will surely be shouted back to him a shows.

The first two songs released from the album, Gone and Double Helix, really paint the picture for the entire album, one a run of the mill pop-punk track, albeit with that little knuckle puck edge and pizzazz, it’s catchy and many will be singing it around their bedrooms/living rooms for many months to come. Double Helix however, brings something a little different, and while this may be an unpopular opinion, the song sounds highly influenced by The Used. Before you tear this up, just hear me out; there are very distinct similarities, the progression of the song, from whiny vocals in the verse, that transform into an aggressive shout in the chorus and the use of overdubbing and background vocals are very Used-esque. Musically speaking the song are also similar, an audible onslaught in the chorus yet calm and calculated in the verses. Can you hear it? Or is it just me?

While the album is very much their own already defined sound, carved out intheir early work and shown to the masses on Copacetic, Knuckle Puck still have a trick or two up their sleeves. One such trick is Everyone Lies to Me. As I have said here, Knuckle Puck are known for aggressive melody and catchy, anthem like choruses, this song is exactly that...but on steroids, with verses spewing out of Taylor’s mouth with such anger and vitriol it makes one question who has pissed him off this much, and pray that it’s not themselves. But in a heartbeat the song becomes this big bolstering chorus that I’ve found myself humming walking down the street, so memorable it pops into my head at regular intervals during the day. While many would think of this combination and think it choppy and disconnected, the song still retains a flow that could cause a frenzy for 2:54, leaving listeners in a pool of their own sweat, stood in the middle of their living room, wondering how they got there from the sofa.

The good news is that Knuckle Puck are back, bringing fans exactly what they fell in love with the first time all over again. The even better news is that they still have a few surprises. And the bad news.....there is none.