After the breakout year Puppet Rebellion had in 2013, they are back and ready to storm everyone’s playlists, and amaze not only music lovers in the UK but on a worldwide scale. Having already created quite a buzz in South America and Europe over the past year, their forthcoming hotly anticipated EP, No Means Yes, out 25th Feb, intends to tip the scale just a bit more and further intensify everyone’s love of Puppet Rebellion.
Opening track, Pirouette, already a live favourite of mine and many other Puppet Rebellion fans alike, really sets the tone of the EP. Lively, insatiably dancey instrumentation contrasted with darker lyrics that we’ve come to expect from Puppet: “you’ve been lying to him, what did you achieve?, you’ve been lying to him, you’ve been lying to me.” Undoubtedly you’ll be chanting “so I’ll make my escape from the great unknown, make my escape, make my escape” after just one listen to this track, there’s a sense of a more polished sound to this track, ending with a good fade out.
Following on from Pirouette, we are greeted with the sweeter, calming tones of Cupboards Painted Red, opening with a seeping guitar melody, that you would associate with folk singer, Ben Howard. Cupboards Painted Red is a song that touches on a much more real subject: domestic violence, looking at it from a child’s perspective. It obviously is a very emotional and painful song, but really brings home the message of the song that domestic violence shouldn’t be a reality, and it needs to stop, we need that support system out there to help people in need.
This song in particularly shows that Puppet Rebellion don’t write meaningless trash about the simplest of subjects, but they really do have purpose and meaning to what they write about, which in my opinion they should be congratulated for, for trying to make a difference, shining the spotlight on real issues that need to be addressed. A song that frontman Simon Monaghan, often dedicates to his mum at live gigs. Cupboards Painted Red is a retrospective track, full of ambition and scope, its majestic expansive soundscape really is a thing of beauty. The track is essentially, a cry for help, as Monaghan belts out “I’m broken, so can you help me? Can you help me? Can you help me?”, a real stand out track on the EP for me, packed with engaging vocals from Monaghan, pounding drums, melancholic guitar lines and a beautifully multi coloured melody.
Track three, Loner in Disguise, is a track that’s full of great little moments, with outstanding lyricism on this track too. A nod to Editors rhythmically, a stunning slice of post-punk melodies that soar and elate in melancholy and it revels in the hope for change. Moving on, we head into fan favourite, Green Eyed Monster, which always creates a real buzz at live shows. Making an immediate impact in the opening seconds of the track, it’s fast, it’s loud, it’s in your face, this is one song that will have you dancing, going crazy, it’s time to let loose, let the groove inside you. At a mere 2 minutes 15 seconds, it is just the punch of drum/bass lead indie rock that will set you right for the final track. Topped off with surf tinted guitars and reverb, it’s a shot of caffeine that will have you bouncing off the walls from the opening drum beat, with all the umph that you’d hear from Mr Dave Grohl himself, Monaghan takes the lead here.
There’s a real finesse to this band that becomes clear throughout this EP and again through their live performances. You get a real sense when listening to Puppet Rebellion of being part of something bigger than yourself, you can’t help but feel proud of them. They are a true credit to Manchester and of course, to the music scene here in the UK.
Puppet Rebellion being a band that are clearly not out for themselves, ran a remix competition late 2013, allowing the winner to remix their staple track, Chemical Friends, which subsequently would appear on their second release, as a way of showcasing new talent and also providing a new take on the track.
Winner, Cai Caslavinieri, definitely pushed the boat out. Cai’s dub step rendition of Puppet’s masterpiece about toxic relationships gives just the right amount of contrast to the rest of the EP, showcasing the versatility of their songs and obviously how talented Cai is. A great way to end a magnificent EP on, this band can do no wrong in my eyes.
Tracklisting: 1- Pirouette, 2- Cupboards Painted Red, 3- Loner In Disguise, 4- Green Eyed Monster, 5- Chemical Friends (Cai Caslavinieri Remix)
The EP, No Means Yes, is out 25th February. Also, be sure to head down to Gullivers in Manchester on 22nd February for the EP Launch gig, tickets are only £6 and are selling really fast, so get on it asap. With outstanding support coming from The Darlingtons, The Wax Collection and David Liversidge, you’d be mad to miss it!