Puppy

Despite their cute name, English alternative metal outfit Puppy are anything but soft and cuddly. Delivering muscular rock that fuses crushing riffs inspired by the Big 4 thrash bands, the ear for melody of Weezer, and the experimental flair of Smashing Pumpkins, the trio spent the late 2010s developing their blend before debuting with 2019's The Goat. Puppy formed in 2014 after the group Polterghost disbanded. Two of that band's members -- vocalist/guitarist Jock Norton and drummer Billy Howard Price -- stuck together, recruiting bassist Matthew Rickelton to form a new trio influenced by both alternative rock and heavy metal. Their debut single, the Weezer-esque "Forever," arrived in 2014. It was quickly followed by "The Great Beyond," which landed on their self-titled EP, issued at the end of the year. Soon after release, Rickelton parted ways with Puppy and was replaced by Will Michael. The refreshed trio added crunchier riffs and a down-tuned nu-metal vibe to their first single together, "Entombed." The Vol II EP arrived that summer. In 2017, Puppy signed with Spinefarm and continued to tour their native U.K. while recording new tracks such as "Demons" and "Black Hole." Those 2018 singles wound up on their official full-length debut, The Goat (Universal/Spinefarm). Released in January 2019, the effort featured production by Tom Dalgety (Ghost, Royal Blood) and Neil Kennedy (Creeper, Boston Manor). ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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