Puppy - The Goat album review
Full of character and wit, The Goat is a bubbly number with a modestly understated presence. Hazy riffs and grungy rhythms en masse, Puppy have really found themselves here.
Replay Value8.8
8.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

On debut album The Goat, charismatic rock trio Puppy present themselves as a band who are surefooted in their approach and sound, as they’re realising their potential. The project is a great leap in progress from the previous EPs belonging to the infancy of the band where many flashes of brilliance were displayed but the cohesion that strings The Goat together so tightly wasn’t quite there.

Full of character and wit, The Goat is a bubbly number with a modestly understated presence. Resilience is at the forefront here too; the project evidently doesn’t care for what the current trend may be or for conformity in general. It is this steely self-assured approach that makes this album well and truly alternative in the simplest definition of the word. The album is essentially a free spirit that roams freely, bringing it’s feel-good factor and barrage of hazy riffs wherever they be needed.

The album is a of a mystical existence – typical to the personality of the band – and with a title like The Goat, which could be a steely reference to a goat that Billy, Jock and Will have some strange, ethereal connection with that won’t be discussed, or it could serve as an acronym for ‘greatest of all time‘. In either instance, here is some context of such detail that within the industry is fairly rare, yet is also characteristically tongue-in-cheek of the band and stamps their uniqueness. There is an apparent lack of salsa in the genetics of the project though…

Black Hole puts in a rugged shift as it welcomes you to The Goat with open arms and hard, grungy riffing that sets the tone for the duration. The grungy clink of the instrumental grips you with its coarse yet rhythmic rumble to make way for a soaring Jock Norton chorus. Maybe the most pertinent example of Puppy kicking up a gear, Black Hole conveys how crushing the surreptitiously charming trio really can be while still wailing in singalong melody and the video is… quite something.

One of the most pleasing aspects of The Goat is the aspect of familiarity which is provided through Puppy flaunting distinct influence from cherished bands from yesteryear that often are associated with retrospection and ‘better times’. Listening to the project feels a bit like you’re in a warm cosy setting, looking at a treasured family photo album from days gone by. Tracks like Vengeance sound in places hauntingly like the love child of Sabbath-meets-Weezer had an affair with Smashing Pumpkins.

These influences are notable throughout the project, infused to good effect and for the most part the ability the album has to jump you back in time is through how it elicits such a feel-good vibe that’s hard to deny, and for bringing back to life the perceived great times and undisputedly great music of an era loved by many that we can only reflect on and sample now. This relic of reminiscence through the sounds it welds together and distinctive influences flaunted, has the potential to please fans from varying sections of the wider rock/metal world as there are elements wide from territories of indie, grunge, hard rock, metal and a few more in between.

The aforementioned and transparent uniquity of Puppy is what sets them apart from peers – they are effectively in their own league and own a really invigorating sound right now. Accompanying the alt-rock aesthetic and grungy demeanour, the slightly nasal, floaty individualistic vocal style of Jock Norton is the icing on the cake as his voice coats the instrumentals in a blanket of smooth. The Goat is a superbly refreshing album for the fact it sounds so different to what a lot of bands are doing at the moment, and for the fact that over the 12 tracks the band find many ways to distort and play with this hard edged, grunge-laden rock metamorphosis they have conjured so to keep it an engaging and consistent listen front to back. Strength is found in the simplicity of the project – Puppy know what they do well, and they stick to that.

The Goat

The Goat is out on January 25th via Spinefarm Records – pre-order here (check out the bundles too).

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