Release Date: Oct 13, 2017
Record label: BMG / Rise Records
"You're never gonna get the girl / You're never gonna change the world." Of all the lines on 'Shapeshifter', the second album from Illinois pop-punks Knuckle Puck, this is perhaps the most intriguing. Delivered moments before the conclusion of 'Gone' – one of the finest slabs of emotional pop-punk anybody has produced in years – it's a line that inadvertently sums up the band's place in the world in just a few seconds. In a hollow and superficial industry that concerns itself more with star quality and marketable looks than anything else, they are indeed a band unlikely to get the girl; certainly compared to some peers who are as easy on the eye as they are on the ear.
WHAT'S DIFFERENT: Chicago's Knuckle Puck were poised to lead this generation of pop-punkers before their debut, 2015's Copacetic, even dropped. And leading they are, this time with a heaping dose of maturity (the somber opener "Nervous Passenger") and songs that flirt with a new shot of Braid-style, almost-tech emo ("Twist"), with much success. "Wait" is the band's finest moment yet as songwriters.
Knuckle Puck debut LP proved that poignant pop punk still transpires post-2009, and that most of us need to reunite with our dictionaries. That record’s title, Copacetic, and track names like “True Contrite” proved that the thesaurus is one of Knuckle Puck’s dearest songwriting collaborators, not that there’s anything wrong with that. “It’s like when you’re in grade school and you’re reading in class and your teacher tells you, ‘If you don’t know the word look it up,’” guitarist Kevin Maida told Noisey last year. “We’re not trying to make it confusing, we would like for people who listen to our band to really delve deeper and figure out what we’re actually trying to say.” .