Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Putz- Knock It Off

As a someone who discovered my love for pop punk in the early 90's through bands like Screeching Weasel, the Queers, and the Beatnik Termites, I prefer to hear this genre with the pureness it had in the beginning. Classic pop punk will always stand the test of time through it's simple catchiness and overall punk rock foundation. Europe is certainly is taking the lead with producing this style most in present day and while America does have several mighty creators still going strong, I often wish there were more newer bands in my country who had the desire to continue the tradition. The movement certainly isn't dead by a long shot with a few great standouts I've came across in my endless/optimistic search and a band named The Putz is a great representation of my hope for it to survive. Based out of Indianapolis, IN, these guys have been creating a buzz for themselves since their formation in 2009. They've put out two EPs and are back to take it to the next level with a full length LP I think you should know about called "Knock It Off"!

The songs were recorded on August 18th-23rd and 27th of 2012, then June 2nd, 2013 at Sonic Iguana in Lafayette, IN by Phil Zumbrun. Producing was handled by both Phil and Billy Putz. Executive producer credits go to Dougie Tangent. Mastering was completed at Sonic Iguana as well sometime during that August by the legendary Mass Giorgini. The cover is a photo of the guys standing in a shadow which made me think of the Ramones "Too Tough To Die" one. Cool! A simple and clean layout was put together by Tyler Wrong and Jami Wrong. The guys played a show last Saturday to kickoff the release and official release by a label that's quickly becoming a favorite of mine, Eccentric Pop Records is on the 1st of July. It's less than a week away and you can certainly place an order with the label now for the limited first pressing of 250. It's an even split of 125 on red and 125 on white vinyl. Digital download is included. For all of you non converts out there that I haven't won over in the name of the most sacred format, you will be able to get digital only through iTunes and Amazon on the release date.

In a few words, these boys are catchy as hell. Lookout sounding pop punk with a healthy dose of 50's/60's rock 'n' roll simplicity, some keyboards here and there, then of course fantastic vocals. You'll hear it right away in the first track "That's Okay" a nice mid-tempo song about lethargy. Billy's vocal tone holds a super pleasant and even quality, falling between the lines of snotty and sweet that fits the music with ease. At a first impression, Tyler's backing vocals are also just as attention grabbing with a really natural and beautiful instinct to harmonize. The two play off of each other well and don't blend into flatness. One of my favorites, "Brain Malfunction" follows next and at that point, you'll know you're getting a collection of songs that aren't taking themselves too seriously. I'm a big fan of hearing music that is fun, and The Putz have it down without coming across as cheesy. "Operate" was the first song I ever heard from this album that also appeared on a Mooster comp and is still my top pick. The one and only love song appearing on the record is "Fast Food Fantasy", a tender ode of devotion to junk food and they just made a hilarious new music video for it last night(check it out here!). Aside from the wonderful original material, the guys also did a well executed cover of The Angels' "My Boyfriend's Back" with a female lead vocal. I also thought it was awesome to see my pal Jake Emissions from Flamingo Nosebleed's name popping up in the credits for guest vocals on "I'm A Disappointment" too! That track is a good representation of the band's snottier side along with "Unreliable".  Side B ends with the title track, "Knock It Off" which is another favorite of mine and the record easily gets another play.  

Not much more to say here other than HOORAY for classic pop punk both starting to resurface a little more in America again and being represented so well by such a good band. For these reasons, "Knock It Off" has landed a spot in my 2014 top ten and I think you just might feel the same. It's streaming in it's entirety on the Eccentric Pop bandcamp so get yourself over there to give it a listen if you haven't yet and place an order cause it's moving fast!

The Putz are...
Billy Putz- Bass Guitar, Vocals
Tyler Wrong- Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dougie Tangent- Drums, Backing Vocals

Studio drums and additional percussion- Aaron Atrocity
Keyboards on "That's Okay" and "Brain Malfunction"- Ian Johnson
Guest vocals on "I'm A Disappointment"- Jake Emissions
Guest vocals on "My Boyfriend's Back"- Elise French
Gang vocals on "Three Strikes"- Jake Emissions, Rickey Racket, and Aaron Atrocity
Additional instrumentation- Phil Zumbrun 

All songs written by Billy Putz(BMI), except where indicated.

Side A 
1. That's Okay
2. Brain Malfunction 
3. Three Strikes 
4. Operate 
5. Unreliable
6. Fast Food Fantasy
Side B
7. Go Work On Your Tan
8. Get A Clue 
9. Lunatic 
10. My Boyfriend's Back
11. I'm A Disappointment
12. Knock It Off

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