Hotly-tipped Brit riff-slingers finally play their first headlining tour
■ For a band who have yet to release a fulllength album, Puppy have made a lot of friends. It’s hard to think of another outfit who could support both Creeper and doom-lords Conan, or appear at Bloodstock and Slam Dunk and slay every time. With their crunching heaviness and sublime melodies, they’re the odd ones out who can fit in anywhere, and they certainly look right at home on what is – surprisingly, given their ever-growing profile – their first-ever headlining tour.
Given the headliners’ genre-spanning sonic stew, it’s fitting that the bill as a whole is equally eclectic. Dead Extras kick things off in splendid fashion with a spiky collection of punk-edged rock bangers. Next, Grove Street Families bring a hardcore assault bursting with spring-loaded grooves, showing off just how much they’ve now evolved from a Grand Theft Auto-obsessed novelty into a truly ferocious live act.
Puppy can’t compete with the sheer gonzoid energy levels of the GSF. But though they’re a relatively static three-piece, they excel in other areas. Those breezy alt.rock melodies really are stunning, especially on the likes of the floaty, swirling Arabella and Forever. At the same time, when the riffs kick in they stomp from the stage like a Sabbath-loving Godzilla in hobnailed work-boots.
Just-released new tune Black Hole promises even greater things ahead with its huge riff, while World Stands Still teases their forthcoming debut album Goat on a rush of Faith No More-ish grooves and delicious hooks. Puppy are fast making friends, and with this mix of killer music and fun vibes, it’s not hard to see why they’re becoming one of the coolest gangs in British rock. PAUL TRAVERS
“Woah, dude, you know E-minor?” KERRANG! 59