The 20 Year Anniversary of The Pulls 200 LP, The Damnedest Thing, is upon us. After breaking up in 2007, The band opted to reform, and reissue the aforementioned. It’s an interesting story, and has a 25 year history, which The Damnedest Thing serves as something of an allegory for. With 17 tracks, and several Songs that don’t even crack the two minute mark. The Pulls are unapologetically punk. However, there are some surprises along the way. The band is actually self-described as Pop Punk, which can be a way of condensing and simplifying things for conversations sake.
The Pulls like to employ swirling and frantic guitar work, with blasting and driving percussion, and enthused, but mostly controlled Vocals. Occasionally, you will get a breakdown or an interlude, that serves as a bit of a let me up moment. There’s even an impressive guitar solo, on “Seduced By The Darkside,” which might also win the award for best title on the record. Casual listeners will always notice the aesthetics, before the musicianship, but The Pulls seem fully cognizant of that. They are unabashedly themselves, but their Songs are meticulously crafted, in a genre that many elitists write off as child’s play.
The Pulls sound like they could have provided, or at the very least, contributed to the American Pie soundtrack. There is a coming of age sentiment to The Damnedest Thing, which is further served by its original release date. If you are not aware of this, before you hear the album, you would likely assume it was written and recorded in 2019. I’m not sure if timeless is the right word, but it does seem as if The Pulls seamlessly blend nostalgia and modernism. Of course, it helps to have some connection to the era that birthed the band.
This Music is irresistible and fun. You can’t help but picture scenarios in your head, that complement the steady wave of nerves that drive The Pulls sound. Songs like “Two Dimensional Girl” are where adolescence, young adulthood, and middle age, all meet up for a venting session at the local pub. The Damnedest Thing, might seem a little long in the tooth, at first. The ride is fast paced, though, and much like life, will pass you by if you don’t give yourself a chance to enjoy it.
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