20/20 Through Knuckle Puck's Eyes
8.2Overall Score

Knuckle Puck, 20/20
Rise Records

20/20 – this year’s been… quite something so far, and Anti-Flag’s record of (almost) the same name gets rightfully enraged about it. Knuckle Puck, on the other hand, are embracing music’s immense power to provide an escape from a bleak-looking world. Two tracks have been released so far, and oh Knuckle Puck, how we love you: pop-punk at its absolute best.

RSVP is a bit vitriolic for the posi vibes Knuckle Puck proclaim they’re going for on 20/20 – “you can keep your RSVP from 12 feet deep down the whole you’re in”? Not massively cheery. But on closer inspection, RSVP is full to the brim of compelling empowerment, the fierceness speaking back to someone who’s made you feel bad about yourself and telling them you’re not going to let them do it anymore. Set against the backing of the tightest, most polished pop-punk you’ve ever heard; clamorous riffs, impeccably inviting vocals just begging to be sung along to, the drums the very beating heart of a track jam packed with emotion.

Tune You Out is similar in subject – Knuckle Puck are really showing their aptitude for taking subject matter that’ll resonate with our struggles and flipping it on its head, acknowledging life’s challenges but reminding us there’s always good around the corner. Tune You Out for the most part is more of a cascade than the punch that is RSVP, but still with every bit of energy. The chorus’s high notes, on the other hand, are definitely the kick that tops off the track. Knuckle Puck adventure a little with their sound, with twinkly effects punctuating the second verse and a spoken word section, injecting Tune You Out with even more heartrending authenticity.

2020 is barely a quarter of the way done, but with Knuckle Puck’s appropriately titled soundtrack, we’ve got some well-needed landmarks to look forward to.

20/20 is out later this year.