The Putz - Rise and Shine (Cover Artwork)

The Putz

Rise and Shine (2020)

Eccentric pop records

Those paying attention are certainly aware of the vast number of pop punk releases gracing our turntables this year. Many bands across the globe still carry the torch for the sound first made famous by bands who blended the ferocity and speed of the Ramones, the humor of the Dickies and the pop sensibility of the Beach Boys. The Putz from Indiana are one such band who for the past ten years have been churning out numerous releases to wet the pop punk palate. Their newest offering Rise and Shine is a short but sweet 14 song blast of fun and energy.

“Cut the Shit” is a straight to the point punch to the gut song about that certain someone who doesn’t know when to quit. This track boasts quick key changes and has effective keyboards as an underlying rhythm track. There are plenty of “whoas” present throughout as well. “She’s a Brat” continues in the same tempo. This track features a fun and effective bouncy chorus that will be stuck in your head for days. Billy Putz has an insanely great ability to deliver quick and catchy verses. This is especially present on “Laserblast” that follows. Musically this song offers many quick guitar leads as well as a bridge with quick stops to further accentuate the vocals. Drummer Dougie Tangent pounds the skins with authority on this track. While mostly being an upbeat album, Rise and Shine can get aggressive as well. This is especially prominent on “I Don’t Wanna Do Anything” and “I Disagree.” These tracks are reminiscent of Dee Dee fronted Ramones songs we all know and love. “Empty Bottles” is a shorter track that sounds like it could have been recorded for one of the Fat Records era Screeching Weasel albums. “Kicked Out” is one of the catchier tracks on the album. Billy’s quick vocal patters tell the story of a guy who has been exiled from his home by both his girl and parents. The title track “Rise and Shine” is the most ambitious track both lyrically and musically. Clocking in at 4:35, this is the album’s longest track that inspires the listener to take control of their own life and destiny. I consider this track to be the band’s “My Brain Hurts.” The follow up track “Grow Up” is my favorite of the collection. This standard 90s style pop punk track boasts some of the best lyrics I have heard in many years. You can’t go wrong with lyrics like “Grow up, grow up, before I throw up, and if I throw a party man you better not show up.” The Putz slow things down a bit on the golden-oldie inspired “You’re the Kind of Girl That I Like.” This mid paced rocker is not unlike early Dan Vapid fronted Riverdales numbers. Guitarist Patrick McVay’s ability to write catchy leads is shown on “Another Autumn.” This slower rocker highlights Billy’s vocal range as well. The band goes full Ramonescore on “Numbskull” which features a guest vocal appearance by Teflon Dave of fellow label mates Horror Section. “Invitation Only” is another example of the Putz doing what they do best in writing short but sweet fun songs. “All The Time in the World” is another epic and ambitious track that closes out the album. The effective floor toms to set the tone and pace for the perfect cool down to this roller coaster ride.

Rise and Shine has all the elements of a solid pop punk album. Quick tempo changes, fun lyrics and surf rock backing vocals help set the tone for this catchy album. This is primarily a classic sounding pop punk record all around. Unlike many of their peers though, the Putz introduce enough variety to still make for an interesting album. Lace up your chucks, slap on your baseball cap and drop the needle on the record!