Pop-Punks PUP Continue to Prove Their Consistency with “Anaphylaxis”


PUP at the Bowery Ballroom, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

On April 27, Canadian polyrhythmic1 pop-punks PUP released a new single, “Anaphylaxis,” and an accompanying video. While the song didn’t come with any album announcement, the band is working on new material in the wake of a cancelled tour.

“Anaphylaxis” feels like a natural step forward from 2019’s Morbid Stuff, the band’s third album that earned them nominations for prestigious JUNO and Polaris awards. It addresses PUP’s familiar tropes of paranoia, self-sabotage, and the general feeling that the world is going up in flames, all with the band’s trademark humor and self-awareness. The intense buzzsaw guitars are well-balanced by singer Stefan Babcock’s ear for melody. In terms of boppiness, “Anaphylaxis” fits well in the “Mabu,” “Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashley,” “See You At Your Funeral” corner of PUP’s discography, while retaining its originality. 

As is often the case, the highlight for me is Zack Mykula’s drumming. Mykula’s ability to fit complex rhythmic concepts into a pop-punk song without overcrowding the piece not only drives PUP’s albums and live shows, but also injects some much needed life into a genre where most people get by on Ramones chords2 and contrived suburban whining.

Since the beginning of their career, PUP have gone above and beyond with their music videos (we’ll pretend that the try-hard garbage that Warner Bros. slapped together for “See You At Your Funeral” never happened). While a good song is a good song no matter how it is promoted by a band or label, it’s fun to see how great a time PUP has with their videos. Whether they’re taking part in a demolition derby or putting together a choose-your-own-adventure old-school video game, PUP brings it. “Anaphylaxis” is no exception. Animated by Callum Scott-Dyson, the claymation video follows a regular guy with an army of bees out to get him. Yeah, it’s goofy, but it’s funny and it works. Overall, “Anaphylaxis” has landed itself a solid spot on the list of my personal favorite PUP songs. I would be very pleased if a new album comes along that stays on this level.

You can watch “Anaphylaxis” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWNyNg3SVqk

  1.  When a musician plays in two time signatures at once
  2.  Power chords: the simplest chords on guitar