On The Edge Of Glory....
No Means Yes, Puppet Rebellion. EP.
You hear it so many times, don't you - 'this is where my life changes' as the clock strikes midnight and ushers in a new year, or 'you've not seen the last of me' as some no-mark tuneless wonder gets told that they're crap by the X Factor turd polishers (ahhh the irony). Nearly always pure bollocks. Plus the old classic 'this band are set for big things'. Big things being a slight troubling of the charts, a couple of headlines and the odd narcotic casualty, usually. It's a shame. There are some great bands out there that just never get that break.
But this time it's different.
Puppet Rebellion are destined to be big. Huge. Gargantuan. Gi-frigging-normous. Susan Boyle's-monobrow massive.
This Manchester five piece blew me away in November with one hell of a live set (read it here) and this EP, the eagerly anticipated follow up to last year's Chemical Friends, has been hotly tipped by anyone that knows their stuff - promoters, bloggers, radio stations, achingly cool hipsters with trendy haircuts and so much metal in their faces they'd be in trouble walking past a scrapyard crane - as being one of this year's seminal releases of its genre. With a barrage of publicity across all social media channels (and a fair few non-social media ones too), these lads are making indie waves so big you'd best grab a surfboard and ride along...
No Means Yes blasts into life with Pirouette, a blistering riot of a song, in many ways similar to Chemical Friends' frenetic, raucous stomp but with a tighter, more polished sound. The riffs are crisper, everything is on point and there's a driving urgency running through it, a power surge to make you sit up and take notice. As far as opening tracks go, it's a piledriver.
Then something unexpected happens. From the whack of energy delivered just moments ago a new facet to this band is revealed, softer and laden with emotion. Raw, honest lyrics have been a staple of Puppet Rebellion songs since their inception, but this tale of turbulent childhood really hits home. Stirring and visceral, Cupboards Painted Red showcases the talent of every band member, in particular the strength and tone of Simon's voice as he pleads 'I'm broken, please can you help me' through the chorus with heart-wrenching intensity. it is stunningly, simply beautiful.
So, how the hell do you follow that? Step forward live favourite Loner In Disguise, debuted at November's Manchester gig to one hell of a reception, this is a hands-up-and-holler-along tune, uplifting and catchy, getting you hyped up for the rocky Green Eyed Monster with killer riffs and bassline lodged somewhere between Footloose and Pretty Vacant. It's shouty and vibrant, one to pogo along to, with growly lyrics and a thumping beat . Nobody can accuse these guys of being samey - each track has a distinct personality and shows what this band can really do.
The last track is the Cai Caslavinieri remix of Chemical Friends. You'll have to forgive me glossing over this one slightly, but it's dubstep/EDM and I'm at the upper age limit of talking about it without either cringing or sounding like I'm trying to be down with the kids - the abbreviation EDM in itself makes me think of a far right fascist movement, or an energy company (or both). As pipe and slippers as it sounds, guitars, sweaty blokes and mosh pits are more my comfort zone. Its inclusion adds another new dimension though, and I was surprised at just how well the song translated into this new genre.
Chemical Friends was great, but this a cut above - slick and polished but without losing their identity or the messages they want to convey. Scratch below the surface, properly listen, and the depth of the lyrics really hits you. It's music that makes you feel.
Plus, they do a cracking Blue Steel pose - especially Paul.
The EP launch was IMMENSE. Gullivers provided the perfect setting, even though it was a stifling sweathouse by the time solid support acts David Liversidge, The Wax Collection and The Darlingtons had done their thing, each act getting progressively louder and working the crowd into a drunken, perspiring frenzy by the time our headliners burst onto stage. Every base was covered, from the riotous kick of Chemical Friends, through the new stuff, a nice mention for us 'old fuckers' that led into The New Twenty, the debut of new song Time To Lie (goosebumps. Seriously. And it was frigging boiling) and a rousing encore of The Greatest Lie Ever Told.
Fantastic night. And not a dry back in the house...
No Means Yes is released on February 25th, and the EP is launched on February 22nd at Gullivers in Manchester. Head to
for tickets, merch, music, the lot. Follow them on Twitter @PuppetRebellion