Rating – 4/5
Knuckle Puck has certainly come back with a bang on their highly anticipated third album 20/20. The album kicks off with the title track 20/20 and is lead by a soft melodic introduction on the guitar to be the foundation for vocalist Joe Taylor to spread a positive message that everything is temporary, which is what a lot of people need to hear in these difficult times. The five-piece has stayed humble and stuck to their roots while branching out with a more mature sound. This is demonstrated in the singles “tune you out”, “RSVP”, and “What took you so long?” while also maintaining the guitar riffs fans have grown to love.
The band have also taken a much more positive approach lyrically. Compared to the previous albums that showcase a lot of aggression, the lyrics heard on 20/20 discuss much more deeper topics such as being able to move on from something in a positive light. Their change in sound is even more clear in the song “Earthquake”. Influenced from the early 2000’s sound, the sense of nostalgia runs heavy while the catchy melodies and uplifting lyrics are perfect for those summer days. Describing to us a past relationship breakdown that was earth-shattering but reminding us once again everything is temporary in a positive light. Just to add spice to that early 2000’s pop-punk sound Mayday Parade vocalist Derek Sanders features in the “Track Breath” which is incredibly catchy and upbeat. With the lyrics “just breathe when the world has opened up beneath your feet” tt reminds us when faced with negative events to take a deep breath and stand up tall. For me one of the stand out songs on the album is “Sidechain”. An almost irritatingly catchy chorus and riff that will be stuck in your head all day and with lyrics such as “This could be catastrophe but that’s okay with me” it is impossible to not appreciate this song. One thing to note that I love about this album is the small guitar solos which adds even depth more to the tracks.
The sophistication and all round improvement of the five-piece within this record is demonstrated again in the tracks “Green Eyes” and “Into the blue”. With the lyrics “When one good thing marks the ending of another Why can’t we let it be like spring into the summer?” Telling us to let things be that you can not control. The tracks “True North” and “Miles Away” wrap it up perfectly hearing the passion in vocalist Joe Tayloe screaming the words “Are you out there? Have you seen all that I’ve done? Is it so different from the world where you grew up? Does it compare to the web that you’ve spun?”
Overall I think this record was an important point for Knuckle Puck in their career. A 3rd record can be the make or break release for a band but they exceeded every expectation and have achieved new heights as musicians and a united as a much more cohesve and creative musical unit. For me, this record’s strengths outweigh its flaws and the 4/5 rating is well deserved. This album has also set the benchmark in terms of quality the other bands in the scene need to live up to with their upcoming releases.
Review by Miles Foxall