Knuckle Puck - Copacetic (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Knuckle Puck

Copacetic (2015)


Knuckle Puck's definitely doing well for themselves. With a Warped Tour spot punctuating a move to Rise Records, it was clear some folks in the industry had big, mainstream plans for them. Copacetic is a good balance of where they were, on say While I Stay Secluded, compared to where they are now, running the gauntlet on Kevin Lyman's shindig. The full-length has subtle new bends in it but more or less sticks to their formula of old -- which isn't a bad thing but sadly, there's a tad too much cookie-cutter and filler pop-punk that sounds the same caked in between some pretty impressive tracks.

I don't think it's harsh in saying said filler all sound so generic and bland but it's not surprising. You sensed their potential in the past but you could see them swaying off the boil a bit, especially given that Rise may taper them to too mainstream a production. However, all's not lost because they keep their gritty pop-punk edge on songs like "Untitled" and "Swing". There are slower builds of catharsis in these tracks which erupt into catchy, pit-starting anthems which definitely throws back to their discography. The same can be said for "True Contrite" which is a bit faster and fit for fans of bands like Somos, Neck Deep and Stickup Kid. You know what you're getting into when you pop in a Knuckle Pop record.

"Evergreen" helps rounds things off and add a bit more life and flair to the album. Part of that's due to a neat guest spot from Real Friends' Dan Lambton. Ultimately, the band leans to more pop side of the punk spectrum and the lyrics/writing aren't as sharp or mature as I'd have liked. I won't say this album stunted their evolution but it feels a bit stagnant. Nonetheless, while it feels too manufactured at times, lacking creativity at others, there are quite a few spots that recapture Knuckle Puck's old magic. I think they'll work at this with some more finesse and bring out the big guns next time. Until then, I'll be waiting. The moments that win on Copacetic are more than enough to have you keeping tabs on them in the future.