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Puppy – Vol II album review

Alt-metal mavericks Puppy enhance their independent streak with new album, reviewed here

There’s been disagreement online as to whether Puppy’s alt-rock hybrid should be classed as metal. So let’s clear that up right now: of course it is.

In the past, the London trio have described themselves as “the sound of growing up listening to Metallica and Pavement in equal measure”.

Vintage heavy metal and lo-fi indie-rock sound like an incompatible aural pairing, but Puppy brew the concoction with aplomb, no more than on Entombed, which chugs along like a glam Disturbed before bursting into a glorious, grungy Smashing Pumpkins-esque chorus. Vol. II builds on the band’s playful self-titled 2015 EP, but these chunky riffs gleam with a far more metallic edge. My Tree juxtaposes guitarist and vocalist Jock Norton’s Papa Emeritus-aping croon with 80s pomp and Deftonian menace, while those Metallica influences come home with Arabella’s guitar harmonies and powerful riffage. Their sound may be sprinkled with addictively sweet melodies, but Puppy are maturing into a much harder, heavier prospect than their cuddly moniker suggests.