The Hung Ups - Dawn of the Deadbeats (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Hung Ups

Dawn of the Deadbeats (2011)

Ballz Out

Ah, the Hung Ups are back with another album rammed full of the kind of snotty pop-punk that once attracted people in their droves to Screeching Weasel, until recent events proved that Mr. Weasel had perhaps lost the plot somewhat and when we realised that the 2011 Weasel album was, well, decidedly average.

The Hung Ups are no Screeching Weasel. Certainly lyrically, they lack the acerbic wit that Ben Weasel would pepper his songs with, but what they lack in that department they more than make up for with their high-energy, no-nonsense approach to pop-punk–and let's not forget that this genre is not always known for its cerebral lyrics!

Opening with a brief spoken/musical intro that has more in common with the Blue Meanies than anything else, the guitars take a more expected route on "Phil's Tuckered Out" and continue in that vein across this album. Without suffering from over-production, this reminds me very much of the earlier Screeching Weasel releases, although it is not a facsimile of that now-distant sound.

There certainly seems to be a theme throughout the tracks on this album, and that's one of alcohol intake. With two songs, "Stranger to Sobriety" and "Hungover" neatly adjacent towards the middle of the album and "Bar Flies" following after, one is left in no doubt that more than the odd beverage might be enjoyed by the members of this band. The one track that shows that the Hung Ups are not all balls-out pop-punk purists is "NYC", a Cub track, that with its male/female vocals adds another dimension to their arsenal.

Not all of the album works that well, with the title track coming across as a bit of a poor ending, and it easily lost my interest before the song came to a conclusion. However, that's one of only two songs that don't capture my interest. Overall, this is a good reminder that the current state of pop-punk should not just fall to the likes of Teenage Bottlerocket, etc. If you like bands from that genre, then you could do much worse than check out the Hung Ups–they're not going to change the world but they might well put a smile on your face. This release is available dirt cheap from their Bandcamp page.