Updated: Oct 23
Sucker Punch is a fresh and hard-hitting band with old ties to both the New Jersey and Philly DIY punk scenes. Garnering influences from The Story So Far, early Fall Out Boy, and New Found Glory, this band bridges the gap between the early 2000s emocore wave of bands, and the current movement of emo and pop punk. Sucker Punch aims to take a strong focus on personal and self-reflective lyrical content, framed within upbeat and catchy riffs and melodies. Within months of starting as a solo project, the band now consists of lifelong friends who all share the same passion for both alternative music and culture.
Sucker Punch’s introspective and hard-hitting EP Better Pleasures proves the New Jersey band is among the up-and-coming class of pop punk. With lyrics examining relationships - with the self, with others, what happens when they come apart - and tones ranging from mosh-worthy bridges and gang vocals to airy, atmospheric soundscapes, the band's dynamic and focused songwriting is on display on all four tracks.
“Worst Case Ontario” showcases the group’s ability to combine their sound with unique inspiration - including 2009 cult classic horror film Jennifer’s Body. Detailing a soul doomed to a siren’s song, a blistering guitar riff leads the narrator to accept his fate in the fictional town Devil’s Kettle. “I’m Ready To Ride Giants, Kunu” is a refreshing look at Sucker Punch’s capabilities in asserting themselves with careful attention to vulnerability. Anxieties are countered and the song’s mantra - “I’d kill to never feel this way again” - encourages resilience.
Lyrical themes address doubt and fear of failure head-on yet maintain determination through uncertainty. In the spirited opener “Incognito Mode,” the question is posed, “A little hit of dopamine / Is that too much to ask for me? / I’ve been here before / But I’m not at the wheel.” More tender moments shine through in the second half of the EP. “We exist in my memories right where we belong / It pains me we’re both better off,” leads to acceptance in the refrain of “You Exist.” Striking breakdowns direct the heavier tracks’ bursting energy while the more pensive songs’ stirring emotions elicit reflection. Influenced by emo-tinged pop punk icons like Fall Out Boy, Sucker Punch references the genre’s pioneers while avoiding cliches.
Guitarist Billy Butka spoke about the EP’s creation and its place in the band's catalog. “Better Pleasures is our most ambitious record to date. We were inspired to take risks and try out new things to really bring out the energy and emotion in this group of songs. We tackle issues of hedonism and self-doubt while urging listeners to find more worthwhile and sustainable sources of happiness and a better sense of self-worth."
Sucker Punch will celebrate Better Pleasures’ release at the House of Independents in Asbury Park, New Jersey on November 4th, 2023. Halogens, Grin & Bear, Idle Wave & Sonoa will round out the bill.