Knuckle Puck’s New Single Raises Eyebrows

by Thomas Redding

There are many mixed reactions of the new acoustic single from frontrunners of the new pop-punk scene, Knuckle Puck. The Chicago band, typically known for their hard-hitting songs, have taken a different route with their new releases, “Calendar Days” and “Indecisive.”

The first single, “Indecisive,” was released last Thursday, Feb. 23, and many devoted fans were taken rather off guard. They have released acoustic versions of songs before, but never quite like this. This is the first time that lead singer Joe Taylor, has ever included falsetto-style singing into one of their songs. He also refrained from yelling, something typically heard in previous acoustic tracks. This is the first time we get a glimpse of his actual singing voice, and while he doesn’t have ‘pop star’ qualities, his voice does a good job of complimenting the tone of the track.

The single is their first official release of an acoustic song, some wouldn’t say that it was disappointing. However, when the band announced new music, most were expecting another pop-punk anthem.

After reaching somewhere around the halfway point of the song, opinions began to change as they realized it was actually pretty serene. Although the reviews were mixed, their limited vinyl record of 500 copies, was sold out within about an hour. 

The band’s has matured since their previous release, “Copacetic,” in July of 2015. They have strayed from the “pop-punk acoustic norms,” which includes the same set of chords and strumming pattern, along with a strings section and recycled melodies. The single has more technical and interesting guitar parts, and the lyrics play a large role, because they are much stronger than heard in previous releases.

There are few lyrics to the song, which makes it somewhat resemble a lullaby. The melody is very droning and calm, creating a new sound for the band. It is also difficult imagining the band ever playing this song live, considering that their shows are known for being energetic and loud.

It is not clear if this was an experimental release, or if it could mean something new. Some speculate that by straying from the fast, loud, pop-punk jams, the band is seeking a softer rock side of their sound. It would be interesting to see them go in a new direction, as they would be paving a new path for pop-punk, which is in dire need of some change currently.

The “new pop-punk” sound has been pushing long time fans away from the genre lately, as the sound has changed far past its original roots. A different sounding Knuckle Puck album may actually be good, allowing them to stand out in this crowd of heavily formulaic bands.

Knuckle Puck can be seen opening for Mayday Parade’s 10th Anniversary tour, which will be traveling across the country this spring. The band is highly recommended for fans of the genre. There are still tickets available for the tour stop at College Street Music Hall in New Haven, on May 6.Check out www.knucklepuck.limitedrun.com for pre-orders of “Calendar Days” and “Indecisive,” and to see the video for the new song.

Overall, the song is great and has the potential for frequent replays on the iTunes libraries of pop-punk fans. I would rate the song a 7.5/10.