Pudge is punk rock. Pudge is funny. Pudge is good. Really, beyond those three statements, there’s not much more that needs to be said about Pudge, yet in order to flesh this review out and give one and all some insight into this band, its songs and the place it holds in punk rock history I shall endeavor to add some additional words via some witty prose.
Pudge comes from Yorkshire, England, which is renowned for stainless steel, flat caps, punk rock and the finest tea to be drunk on this earth. Pointless stereotypes aside, Yorkshire is a hot bed of punk rock activity and it’s easy to appreciate that Pudge fits in neatly with all the other high profile bands that have come out of that fine county. Musically, the band plays high speed melodic punk rock, laced with amusing topics and acerbic wit, the latter being noticeable on “Clairvoyance,” which opens with a sample from Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights that had me laughing when I saw it on the television and does so now at the beginning of the song. Any song that mocks both those who claim to be clairvoyants and, worse still, those unfortunate souls who believe the tripe that is uttered forth by the charlatans, gets my approval.
This five =rack EP (six if you count the final one, “Pudge FM,” which is a collection of BBC radio DJs reading out a selection of greetings, etc. being made by or from “Pudge”) really makes me think of a slightly more manic Lightyear, in that both bands obviously have the ability to take fairly mundane and innocuous topics and create amusing vignettes which are played out over a ripping melodic concoction of guitar, bass and drums. The end result being that this EP seems to get better with each listen, keeping amusements levels high and musical interest at a similar peak.
For me the pride of place on this EP goes to “Over To John Anderson,” which again begins with a sample, this time taken from the U.K. television version of Gladiators (John Anderson being the referee), and then proceeds into some more manic punk rock using that television show as its lyrical basis: everyone should be singing “We’ve got our big foams hands / We’ve got our big foam hands.” This is the song that reminds me of Lightyear the most, although Pudge is quite clearly doing its own thing, plowing its own furrow, leaving a trail of empty cider bottles behind along with some soiled bedsheets. There are no pretensions here, just a desire to drink and play punk rock, and if these are the results then the band should be encouraged to continue in both those activities.
By the way, I’m not sure of what place Pudge holds in punk rock history, but it's currently holding a strong place in my musical awareness especially as I have “Over To John Anderson” almost constantly playing in my head at the moment.