AOTY Contender Series: PUP - 'The Dream Is Over'

First, a sidebar: The idea here is to highlight albums each week that are album of the year contenders for me this year. I already have a semi-formed idea of which albums are really in the final running to be #1, so this series is more meant to highlight albums that I've loved to a great enough extent that they gave me that type of feeling. Here's all of the pieces so far.

I wrote about the PUP album in semi-decent length back when it came out in May, and my thoughts on it largely haven't changed much since then. The Dream Is Over (Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify, YouTube below, Bandcamp, vinyl) is a very impressive effort to me for many reasons, and it's been one of my most-played albums throughout the year (it somehow fits really well in both the summer heat and the fall/winter wind). 

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Chief among this sophomore effort's impressive attributes is, as I wrote in May, the apparent development and progression of this young band. They seem to be extremely comfortable in their art right now, something that has gone on display recently in the form of this great music video for "Sleep In The Heat." The Dream Is Over saw PUP extending their range from a go-to sound of loud and noisy punk rock to slower, more methodic songs full of emotion.

"The Coast" and the closing, haunting "Pine Point" are the most obvious examples of this. But tracks like "Sleep In The Heat" and "Can't Win" are the highlights of The Dream Is Over, because PUP has also gone and mastered the art of controlled chaos. These songs are loud but impressively melodic (the guitar sequences in the former of those two is downright danceable at moments), and both hammer home emotionally draining messages in concise, easily swallowable pills.

And, still, PUP is playing loud punk rock as good as anyone played it in 2016. The Dream Is Over has benefitted from a ridiculous replay value so far, and I don't think it'll be leaving my regular rotation particularly soon. This Canadian quartet has made a memorable album here, and will top my list of anticipated releases whenever LP3 is ready to roll.

Part 4 of the AOTY Contender Series.