Puppy’s debut full length The Goat might be some of the most inviting heavy rock to make the rounds in awhile. The band play an ultimately colorful, lively blend of traditional rock instrumentation with softer sensibilities — but contributing to their uniqueness, the British outfit never really go too far into straightforward soft rock. You’ll easily stumble across a rather punishing breakdown or riff medley while going through The Goat right alongside clean vocals from frontman Jock Norton.
They discard some of the aggressiveness and oppression often found along the paths heavy music walks, replacing it with what’s like a gentle but substantive nudge towards the “light.” They’re grounded, and as reflected both in Norton’s lyrics and the construction of their songs themselves, they never try and smooth over the realities of both the musical style they’re working with and the context their art is emerging in. They just — somehow — make it fun. They’re like a band you could both mosh and dance to in some obscure but lively club someplace.
They underlie their unique musical experience with real and obvious attention to the details of their craft. Thankfully, it’s not as though turning on The Goat leaves the listener with some kind of recycled version of that parody song from The Lego Movie “Everything Is Awesome!” In fact, the first greeting the band offers is a crushing riff they dive right into — and they never lose sight of this uniquely heavy vision throughout their record. They’ve got some actual meat on the bones of their songs.
They sound somewhat like music for normalcy — but that’s not a bad thing. How many days and nights do we go through the same routine, whether or not we’re conscious of the repetitiveness? With Puppy’s The Goat, those endless expanses of time can be — at least a bit — more memorable. It’s music you can carry with you and just enjoy.
The band themselves accomplish this delicate task through what sounds like confidence. They’re not stumbling around for a vision, no matter if The Goat is their first full album or not. Instead, they know what they have to offer — and they sound ready to take it places.
The Goat releases January 25 via Spinefarm Records. Check out a single: