Toronto’s PUP released the massive “Morbid Stuff” last year to critical acclaim, earning countless year-end nods, their late-night debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers, and a largely sold-out world tour that had them on the road for a solid 9 months. Now the band returns with “Anaphylaxis”, their first new material of 2020. Stream/buy “Anaphylaxis” and watch the claymation video directed by Callum Scott-Dyson above!
“I got the idea for the song when I was at my partner’s cottage and her cousin got stung by a bee and his whole head started to swell up” says singer Stefan Babcock. “His wife, although she was concerned, also thought it was pretty hilarious and started making fun of him even as they were headed to the hospital. He ended up being totally fine, but it was just funny to watch him freaking out and her just lighting him up at the same time. It reminded me of all the times I’ve started panicking for whatever reason and was convinced I was dying and the world was ending and no one would take me seriously. In retrospect, I always find those overreactions pretty funny. So we wrote a goofy song about being a hypochondriac and tried to make our guitars sound like bees at the beginning of it”.
The hypochondria and manic paranoia tearing through this entire track feels more relevant than ever.
Formed in Toronto five years ago, PUP, comprised of Stefan Babcock, Nestor Chumak, Zack Mykula, and Steve Sladkowski, quickly became favourites of the punk scene with their first two, critically-beloved albums, winning accolades everywhere from the New York Times to Pitchfork, from NPR and Rolling Stone, and more. Now, with Morbid Stuff, PUP have grown up and doubled down on everything that made you love their first two records. It’s gang’s-all-here vocals, guitarmonies, and lyrics about death. Lots of them.
Fitting to their ethos, their new album takes the dichotomy of fun and emotional wreckage in their songs and teeters between gleeful chaos and bleak oblivion while wielding some of the best choruses the band has ever written. “Morbid Stuff” is also a pretty intense foray into singer Stefan Babcock’s fight with depression, and shows, in perfect PUP fashion, how taking responsibility of his own depression lead him to….laughter. Admitting his depression allowed Babcock to laugh in its face, and the result is that marriage of darkness and joy that made PUP who they are, but in a brand new way.
Indeed, despite its dark subject matter, at times “Morbid Stuff” is funny as hell, even in the music. It’s the most insightful, sweetest, funniest, sickest, angriest, saddest and most inescapably desperate collection of songs they’ve recorded to date. If their self-titled record was the fuse and “The Dream Is Over” was the bomb going off, “Morbid Stuff” is your family sifting through the rubble, only to find you giggling while you bleed to death.