Knuckle Puck, one of the most celebrated acts in the modern pop-punk scene, recently announced their new album Losing What We Love to be released 20th October 2023 and now we are treated to the title track off the record.
“Losing What We Love (the song) sways between clinging on to what was and letting go completely. If you choose your company wisely, you can allow yourself to give away all that you have to offer without hesitation or fear.” – Knuckle Puck
Over the last thirteen years the band have nurtured their craft across three albums and have artfully balanced their emotional spectrum, trading in high-tempered and deeply introspective lyricism, but also cutting the tension with an underlying layer of optimism.
But now, with the release of their fourth LP, Losing What We Love, Knuckle Puck are done sugarcoating life’s hard truths. It is a record about coming to terms with exactly that. It is an attempt to lean into the transition between a high point in life to a low point. These songs are a tribute to the familiar while acknowledging that nothing can stay the same forever.
“For a long time, we felt a responsibility to have this overwhelming hopefulness to our lyrics,” Cassasanto explains. “This time around, we started writing more honestly with less intent to sound cool or hopeful. It feels like we’re in a bit of a losing battle with the state of the world, but in the past we’d say, ‘Oh, but it’s all OK!’ Now we’re saying, ‘No, we should be panicking.’ This record feels like more of an expression than a motivational speech.”
Recorded with longtime producer Seth Henderson (State Champs, Real Friends), Losing What We Love follows 2022’s Disposable Life EP and marks the band’s first LP for Pure Noise Records. In many ways, it’s a throwback to their earliest days – not necessarily in sound, but in songwriting essence, tapping into the same collaborative magic they found in bedrooms and garages across Chicago’s south suburbs as teenagers.
The group did far more in-studio writing than ever before during the making of the record, with Taylor pointing to tracks like the album-opening “A New Beginning,” “Worlds Away” and the propulsive previous single “The Tower” as wholly representative of this new (again) songwriting approach, recalibrating their collective creative ethos while continuing to push their sound forward in ways exciting to both the band themselves and their listeners. Siorek, in particular, brought a number of ideas to the table, offering a percussive perspective shift that’s immediately evident on “The Tower.”
“The Tower is a song about welcoming the inevitability of death, destruction and chaos. The world is bleak right now and this song is a reflection of that. It shows a darker side of our band than what we have let people see in recent years which was a big reason for choosing it as a single.”
This focus on impulse over indecision, with all five members bringing their original ideas to the table, then working to shape them together, in the same room, is what helps propel Losing What We Love as a fresh take on trademark Knuckle Puck, from the the biting “2face” and furiously tempoed “Act Accordingly” to the vibe-heavy “Out of Touch” and band favourite “Better Late,” the genesis of which actually dates all the way back to the Copacetic days.
“There was a real excitement from everyone to see these songs through,” Casasanto says. “Even when there were moments when someone wouldn’t be so hot on an idea, we pushed through and ended in a place where the songs turned out fucking awesome and everyone agreed they needed to make the record.”
It’s clear there’s a newfound energy inside their ranks, a steadfast belief in one another that steered the ship during Losing What We Love and will carry the band long into the future.
In many ways, it’s the same spirit of unity that bonds their fervent crowds – the ones that pack sweaty clubs around the world to sing and scream along with Taylor and Casasanto’s impassioned vocals. And even if they’re not cut with as much lyrical optimism this time around, the sheer power and honesty of Knuckle Puck’s songs on LP4 will still give audiences a rallying cry around which to gather in transformative moments of community.
“What excites me about being in Knuckle Puck these days is being excited to go play shows and know not much else matters,” Taylor says emphatically. “I used to get all in my head about online comments on songs, but then we’d go play shows and they were fucking nuts. Right now, the only thing that matters is the people freaking out to our songs every night.”
Losing What We Love – tracklisting
A New Beginning
You & I
Losing What We Love
Out Of Touch
Knuckle Puck will be playing When We Were Young Festival this fall, before heading out with Real Friend on a full co-headline tour. Support comes from One Step Closer and Arm’s Length.
Sat Oct 21 Las Vagas, NV When We Were Young Festival
Sun Oct 22 Las Vagas, NV When We Were Young Festival
Knuckle Puck and Real Friends co-headliner
Thu Nov 9 Cleveland, OH Roxy
Fri Nov 10 Detroit, MI St Andrews
Sat Nov 11 Chicago, IL House of Blues
Tue Nov 14 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
Wed Nov 15 Columbia, MO Blue Note
Thu Nov 16 Witchita, KS The Wave
Fri Nov 17 Denver, CO Summit
Sun Nov 19 Boise, ID Knitting Factory Boise
Mon Nov 20 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory Spokane
Tue Nov 21 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw
Fri Nov 24 Sacramento, CA Goldfield Roseville
Sat Nov 25 Riverside, CA Riversice Municapal
Sun Nov 26 Los Angeles, CA Regent
Mon Nov 27 Tuscon, AZ Rialto
Wed Nov 29 Dallas, TX Studio
Thu Nov 30 Houston, TX White Oak
Sat Dec 2 West Palm Beach, FL Revolution
Sun Dec 3 Orlando, FL Level 13
Mon Dec 4 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
Tue Dec 5 Raleigh, NC Lincoln
Thu Dec 7 Baltimore, MD Soundstage
Fri Dec 8 Philadelphia, PA TLA
Sat Dec 9 New York, NY Irving Plaza
Sun Dec 10 Boston, MA BNL
Tue Dec 12 Harrisburg, PA HMAC
Wed Dec 13 Toronto, ON Opera
Thu Dec 14 Pittsburgh, PA Mr Smalls
Fri Dec 15 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom