Chicago’s pop-punk mainstays, Knuckle Puck, have unleashed their fourth full-length album, Losing What We Love. Produced by their longtime collaborator Seth Henderson (known for his work with State Champs and Real Friends), this album follows their 2022 EP named Disposable Life, and marks their debut with Pure Noise Records. With this new LP Knuckle Puck steps away from sugarcoating and takes an unapologetically honest dive into life’s harsh realities, embracing the transition from high points to low points and acknowledging that change is inevitable.
The band’s evolution is evident as they transition from writing to sound cool or hopeful to crafting songs that prioritize honesty. During the album’s creating, the group embraced more in-studio writing than ever before, resulting in a collection of songs that are brutally honest, filled with sharp guitar riffs and infused with raw energy and emotion. Despite their decade-long journey together as a band and numerous accomplishments, including sold-out shows and chart-topping hits, Knuckle Puck’s commitment to their music remains unwavering, and Losing What We Love showcases their passion and growth.
The album kicks off with “A New Beginning”, a fitting opener that blends a nostalgic tone with an upbeat and lively sound that contrasts with the somber yet hopeful lyrics, encapsulating the desire for a fresh start.
The second high-energy track, “The Tower”, surprises new and longtime Knuckle Puck fans with its darkness, both lyrically as musically. The song welcomes the inevitability of death, destruction and chaos, mirroring the somber world we currently live in. The song’s blend of driving guitars, punchy drums and relatable lyrics effectively captures the tumultuous times we live in. John Siorek’s contribution, particularly on percussion, is immediately noticeable and impactful.
With an irresistible hook that practically demands you to sing-along, the third track “You & I” transports you back to the magic of your first pop-punk gig, evoking memories of mosh pits and carefree fun. Most of the singles on the album maintain an upbeat and melodic quality while incorporating a hint of heaviness, characteristic of the band’s signature style. The lyrics are catchy and infectious, making it an instant repeat-worthy album.
“Losing What We Love” begins with a slower tempo, with Joe Taylor singing, “Who do we become when we’re losing what we love, and where did the time go once you let your dark show?”. The song gradually builds in intensity, exploring the struggle between holding onto the past and letting go. The next track may sound familiar to fans as “Groundhog Day” was released in 2022. It delves into the depths of depression, portraying the repetition of patterns, neglect of self-care, and isolation before finally making a change.
The album concludes with “Fool”, where Taylor’s passionate vocals take center stage, supported by Nick Casasanto’s perfect guitar accompaniment. It’s a track that highlights the lyrics, making it a fitting closer to the album.
In Losing What We Love, Knuckle Puck delivers a poignant and emotionally charged exploration of life’s ups and downs. With their unflinchingly honest lyrics, energetic instrumentation, and a blend of nostalgia and evolution, this album serves as a testament to the band’s enduring commitment to their craft and their ability to connect with listeners on a profound level. It’s a must-listen for both longtime fans and newcomers to Knuckle Puck’s music.