Pudge – EP
(For Zest For Life - we’re back in business!)
Right, so punk rock is a pretty varied genre, isn’t it? It can be just about anything you want it to be - and right now, the trend is for punk bands to look a bit further afield. Many acts are soaking up various influences outside of the typical constraints of the genre, and punk rock seems to have become this ravenous devouring monster, chomping up any tasty musical style that appears before it. Country? STARTERS. Math? PALETTE CLEANSER. Blues? MAINS. Twinkly bollocks? PUDDIN’.
Then Pudge came back and released an EP so unpretentiously titled, it is actually just called EP.
Pudge exist to fill the gap left behind by everyone else. While many of their contemporaries are searching new and uncharted fields, Pudge are sitting in a puddle of their own bodily fluids swigging cider and writing tunes. Having said that, since Chippy Tea, Pudge have learnt how to use samples – with all but one track beginning with a daft clip. I cannot begin to tell you how amazing this is.
‘Peggy Hill Boggle Champ’ picks up where their last record left off, quickly catching us up on what Pudge have been up to, “still drinkin’, still dreamin’”. A roaring belch indicates that the brief catch-up session is over, and we can get down to business. ‘Kirby’ thrashes it’s way aggressively into the fray – a battering two minutes of perverted pop punk. This though, is all just a set-up for the second best sample-based intro to a song I’ve ever heard, as the Phoenix Club’s finest northern psychic Clinton Baptiste introduces us to ‘Clairvoyance’:
“Ay, don’t shoot the messenger! I’m only tellin’ you what the spirits are telling me’. Now, I’m getting’ the word… nonce.”
‘Clairvoyance’ is a grubby, thrashy, sweary piece of pop punk bollocks. And it is amazing. ‘Channel Hop’ follows on with similar haste and aggression, offering tales of woe about daytime TV and the hardships of being bored and unemployed, “I need something to put a smile on my face, it makes me feel like my afternoon was a waste.” Tell me about it, Pudge lad.
The lofty ‘Over To John Anderson’ looms over the horizon next, which contains incidentally, the best sample-based intro to a song I’ve ever heard. If you haven’t guessed by the title, or you weren’t into spandex-clad 90s game shows, then you may not understand the massive Gladiators clip that is played at the beginning of the song. If this is the case, I pity you. Christ though, does the song stands up to the weighty intro, “We’ve got our big foam ‘ands, we’ve got our big foam ‘ands! And another one bites the dust!”
I thought I had heard the best wanky pop punk song I was ever going to hear at the end of Chippy Tea, but ‘Over To John Anderson’ is actually, dare I say, better than ‘Sweetheart’. “Get some ciders in, we’ll fuckin’ drink until we’re dead, try not to piss the bed, again, remember what we said.” I absolutely detest the word ‘anthem’ because it is banded around far too often, but this track is an absolute punk anthem. Seriously.
With the cunningly titled EP, Pudge have somehow managed to take their completely non-pretentious brand of punk rock, and make it catchier, and trashier than ever before. I just want to say love to Pudge, and his big jug of cider.
While the punk rock monster continues to chew up every genre in its path, Pudge are more than happy to stay exactly where they are, and gorge on Strongbow instead. And it’s really hard to argue with that.