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Now Hear This: Pup | This Place Sucks Ass

The Toronto punks serve up some leftovers from their 2019 album Morbid Stuff.

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THE PRESS RELEASE: “After recording their acclaimed 2019 album Morbid Stuff, Pup were left with a handful of songs that didn’t make the final tracklist, largely because they were too frenetic or too unhinged. And for an album that fantasized about the world exploding, that’s saying a lot. The Toronto four-piece loved these thematic stragglers so much, though, that instead of forcing them onto the record or hiding them away forever, they decided that they deserved to stand on their own.

Among them are Nothing Changes and Floodgates, which inject hints of the band’s trademark self-deprecating humor into sentiments of crippling neuroses. There’s also the unwieldy Anaphylaxis; a punked-up cover of Grandaddy’s A.M. 180 (as made popular by the zombie apocalypse film 28 Days Later); and closer Edmonton, a cathartic, 70-second ripper that nearly unravels violently from its opening chord to its final spiraling riff.

This Place Sucks Ass’ cover depicts an apocalyptic neon nightmare courtesy of Canadian artist Brandon Lepine (with a limited-edition animated picture disc vinyl to match). And as for the title, it was plucked from an inside joke that has become all too real over the last few months in a world equalized by the ravages of COVID. “It was a thing we used to say as a joke a million times on tour,” frontman Stefan Babcock says. “Literally any city, whether it was Lethbridge, Alberta, or New York City, we’d be like, ‘This place sucks ass.’ We have so much negativity, and sometimes it becomes so extreme and ridiculous that we start to find it funny. But at this moment in time, it feels so fucking real. Wherever you are, it sucks ass right now. So, wherever you live, whatever your circumstances, this is an EP about the place you’re from, and the place you’re at now.”

Like all of their material, This Place Sucks Ass is a document of the band Pup is, at times, thoughtful and introspective and at other times wildly cathartic. And they hope that fans will take its sentiments of anger, frustration, and bitterness that run through This Place Sucks Ass and find collective empowerment and joy in turning them outward along with them. “Everything sucks and that’s OK, because it sucks for everybody,” says Babcock. “And we can make it a little bit better by being together in the shittiness.”