On the radar: Puppy

When Weezer smashed the Beach Boys, KISS and geekdom together to create grunge-pop perfection, people rejoiced. London's Puppy do a similar trick, but start with The Replacements, blending heavy riffs and 80s-style pinched harmonics into gloriously scrappy, hooky tunes.

"The bands I'd been in before, it was always quite DIY and would sound fuzzy and lo-fi," explains guitarist Jock Norton. "This time we wanted to change it. Instead of saying 'This doesn't fit' we'd try and push the boat out."

New EP Vol II proves just how successful they have been in that endeavour. Take My Tree, which sees Jock channel his down-tuned Fender Bronco and Marshall JCM800 into a song that sounds like early Iron Maiden gone slacker pop, before it gives way to an exuberant guitar hero solo.

DIY classic rock

"I'd describe my approach as like an amateur attempt on classic rock guitar!" laughs Jock, in a rather self-effacing manner, we might add. "I had the tab book for Appetite For Destruction and Back In Black and I would learn them note for note, but then I branched off into focussing on writing songs and that became more my focus."

We think he's struck just about the perfect balance, but what kind of reaction is Jock hoping for?

"I got obsessed about bands and EPs and albums," he says. "So if it could inspire anything like that in anyone then that's amazing and, if not, I like it!"

  • For fans of: Dinosaur Jr, Weezer, The Replacements
  • Hear: My Tree


Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.