Saturday, May 14, 2016

Knuckle Puck: Copacetic [2015] — Album Review

Kevin Maida: Guitar
John Siorek: Drums
Joe Taylor: Lead Vocals
Nick Casasanto: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Ryan Rumchaks: Bass
Produced by Seth Henderson

1. Wall to Wall (Depreciation) – 2:18
2. Disdain – 2:44
3. Poison Pen Letter – 3:39
4. Swing – 3:43
5. Ponder – 2:10
6. Evergreen – 3:28
7. True Contrite – 4:55
8. Stationary – 2:05
9. In Your Crosshairs – 4:42
10. Pretense – 3:05
11. Untitled – 7:51
Total Runtime: 40:47

After a few EPs (that I'll get around to eventually), Knuckle Puck signed to Rise Records and released their début album, Copacetic in 2015. I'd definitely have to go ahead and say Copacetic is my favorite album released in 2015. Copacetic is an expertly crafted album, one of the new emo greats and one of the best débuts I've ever heard.
Copacetic opens full-force with "Wall to Wall (Depreciation)". A guitar rockets in, and the album is on. As an opener, "Wall to Wall" does a really terrific job of setting the tone for the rest of the album. Second we have "Disdain", which also fares pretty well. "Poison Pen Letter" is a standout track on, and the flow continues nicely into "Swing" and "Ponder" after that. The songs all blend together, but in a good way; they make the whole album feel more cohesive, especially with the repetition of the line "I'll tell you everything is copacetic" throughout the album, such as on the next song, "Evergreen", which is another standout for its slower pace and that absolutely killer chorus.
"True Contrite" is the second-longest track on the album, but it doesn't feel like it's nearly five minutes long, and showcases some nice lead guitar work as well as a closing riff which stretches out that runtime. Honestly, that closing riff could be its own song, and don't forget about it, it comes up later. "Stationary" is the shortest song, and it rolls by quickly, but it's not soon forgotten, as the part where there's the line "but you're so stationary" sticks in my head all the time, not to mention the chorus.
"In Your Crosshairs" is the slowest song on the album, but the atmospheric, fourth-wave emo-reminiscent sound of it doesn't leave much to be desired from it. "Pretense" is one of the more popular tracks off of Copacetic, and it's easy to see why: it's catchy and hard-hitting. Joe Taylor's lyrical skills have already shown themselves to be quite far above average, but this song is where they really shine. With antiromantic lines like "I'll leave you in the dark with a broken flashlight/You left me with a choice and a pretense", "Pretense" really puts its heart on its sleeve.
Finally we have our closer, "Untitled" (which honestly should've been called Copacetic), which is a two minute fifty-five second song, and then, like "Goodbye Sky Harbor" on Jimmy Eat World's Clarity, has an extended outro (containing that riff I mentioned before on "True Contrite"), but it doesn't overstay its welcome like "Goodbye Sky Harbor", and keeps it at just under five minutes, which is long enough to make an impact, but not so long that that impact erodes away.
Overall, Clarity is a good comparison for Copacetic. Though I'm sure that Knuckle Puck will be capable of producing another album just as good, if not better than their début, Copacetic is a masterpiece that will surely stand the test of time.

Wall to Wall (Depreciation): 9/10
Disdain: 8/10
Poison Pen Letter: 9/10
Swing: 7/10
Ponder: 8/10
Evergreen: 10/10
True Contrite: 9/10
Stationary: 9/10
In Your Crosshairs: 10/10
Pretense: 10/10
Untitled: 9/10

Subtotal: 98/110
Bonus Points:
A+ Guitar Work: +2
Killer Choruses: +2
Total: 102/110
Score: 9.3 Stellar

Genres: Pop-Punk (2010s Revival), Emo (Fourth Wave)

For Fans of: Light Years, The Story So Far, State Champs, Neck Deep

Last Review: I'll See You When I See You by Light Years
Next Review: 1984 EP by Saves the Day
Next Knuckle Puck Review: While I Stay Secluded

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