Billy Howard | Jock Norton | Will Michael
MASSIVE PRESS BUZZ FOR PUPPY:
"Taking the emotive, catchy alt-rock of ’90s big-hitters such as Deftones, Smashing Pumkpins and Weezer, and melding it to the classic metal of Iron Maiden and Metallica, Puppy have a knack for hitting hard" - The Observer ('One To Watch')
'The Goat, the trio's new full-length debut, is a frothy, fist-raising cocktail blending various chunks of Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Metallica, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Meat Puppets and Dinosaur Jr., topped with infectious choruses and infused with heavenly harmonies. On songs like "Black Hole," the guitars are turned up to eleven — but so is the sense of unbridled, unapologetic fun. - Revolver
“It might look like an odd thing that a fairly unassuming group of chaps playing a type of melodic indie, alternative rock should be featured in the pages of this magazine. But, such is the odd little niche that Puppy have created for themselves it would probably be odd no matter what publication they featured in...it lives up to the hype” – Metal Hammer
“...A genre-blind approach that dips into several decades’ worth of heavy and alternative music, picking out a feast of tasty morsels as it goes.” – Kerrang!
“An unlikely but winning combination of grunge melodies, power-pop choruses and metal riffs...it feels like it’s travelled through time from the height of the 90’s” – Classic Rock
“'The Goat' is so close to being an absolutely perfect listen, breathing life into alt-rock to an extent that hasn’t been seen since the genre’s Wild-West period in the ‘90s, and doing enough to stand among even the greats of the time.” - Soundboard
“Can I just say this: If you hear a better, or more original record than “The Goat” anywhere in the next 12 months, can you chuck it my way? Because this is genuinely stunning.” – Maximum Volume
“Hooks for days and a frontman, Jock Norton, who can carry a tune into next week.” – The Quietus
“Carving out a unique niche in the British rock landscape” – Dork
“There’s something about Puppy; they’re enchanting and otherworldly..” – Upset
“These three lads are actually creative wizards capable of summoning up an entire album’s worth of what would once have been considered world-conquering hits.” – Clash
A fusion of earth-shattering riffs, earworm melodies and anything-goes experimentation, Puppy’s long-awaited debut album The Goat is testament to their go-it-alone attitude. It's a sonic concoction that’s sure to shock - in a world of modern rock copycats, Puppy sound like nothing else out there - delivered with both a knockout punch and a glowing, silly smile.
“We love heavier bands that seem to have something smarter going on,” explains frontman and guitarist Jock Norton - who leads the Puppy pack alongside drummer Billy Howard and bassist Will Michael - “but then we also love bands that are pretty dumb!” he adds with a cackle, citing both Black Sabbath’s doomy odes to the occult and Weezer’s admission that, really, they were off playing Dungeons & Dragons, as two seemingly opposing forces on his early musical ambitions.
Born at the turn of 2015, Puppy emerged from the ashes of a previous, more “garage-y sounding” project. “We just wanted to push the boat out a bit,” says Jock, who acts as the band’s primary songwriter and sonic wizard. Their 2015 debut single ‘Forever’ quickly nailed those new colors to the mast. Taking the left-field melodic turns of Weezer, the hazy fuzz of Smashing Pumpkins, and the straight-to-the bone sonics of the Big Four of thrash metal, the group’s idiosyncratic sound is as unique as their bat-shit, DIY-or-die approach to the visual side of the group. It’s a mixing pot of the trio’s collective interests and ambitions - a fact that sees Will and Billy produce, direct, shoot, and edit all the band’s videos, merch designs, and even album art - and one that hides a dark, occult-esque heart under its catchy melodies and scream-along, festival-ready choruses.
It’s an approach which initially had its pitfalls, Jock admits – while they were more confident than ever in the music they were making, the fact they didn’t fit in a box made finding their feet all the more challenging. “We were always the lightest band on a heavier bill, or the heaviest band on a lighter bill,” he says - occupying a middle ground between the worlds of indie, rock and metal meant finding gig line-ups they could jump on was a Herculean task. Through sheer resilience, and self-belief, they soon found themselves climbing the ranks of rock royalty. An appearance on Guitar Hero for their song "Forever" led straight into a packed-out slot at Download Festival 2016 – a festival they were told early on was out of their reach. The following year, they played Glastonbury; and soon after that, Bloodstock - a festival double-header that few bands could manage to pull off.
The Goat has plenty to offer everyone – from bullet-belted metalheads to shoegazing fuzz lovers, it’s a record that thrives off its kaleidoscopic approach to creativity and the band’s mischievous mentality. Beginning with the guttural stomp of lead single ‘Black Hole’, no stone is left unturned in Puppy’s desire to push boundaries and – above all – embrace the fun inherent in rock’s former heyday. Jock cites a suitable mish-mash of influences on that mindset – everyone from the aforementioned Black Sabbath and Weezer, to Helmet, Faith No More, and even Teenage Fanclub got a look in when they were growing up. For the group that would one day become Puppy, Jock admits, there was no tribalism. That freed-up feeling flows throughout The Goat. A record that dodges convention and pretension at every turn in favor of a 'fun-first' approach, it’s one of the year’s finest guitar albums, from one of the U.K.'s most-entrancing new bands.