Album Review: The Pukes – Never Mind The Buffet

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The Pukes

Never Mind The Buffet - Hoo Ha Records

Punk ukulele band The Pukes are back with an album of self-penned tunes called “Never Mind The Buffet” that will be released via Hoo Ha Records on the 13th September. The band are infamous for their quirky takes on punk classics on tiny four-stringed instruments, now with a new slimmed-down line up, they’ve written an album of twelve songs inspired by the bands they love. Having played with The Pukes at one Rebellion Festival, along with about a dozen others on The Exploited‘s “Sex & Violence“, and earning the title Part Time Puke (I still have the badge) I can testify to the their live appeal, but whether this translates over to their own material and into the studio is a question that they are about to answer.

A Ramones drum beat and a screamed 1234 leads into “All About You“, If you take a songwriting team that know their punk rock and switch them over from amped up guitars to ukuleles you get the idea, the result is a summery and melodic soundtrack, although it must be said that I think it’s impossible for the ukulele not to sound summery. There is distinctly poppy feel to “Never Mind The Buffet” but it isn’t at the expense of their punks roots, tracks vary between those that still have punk stamped into the song and those are nearer to pure pop, but despite my initial preconceptions this is an album that is strangely uplifting, there is a definite feel good factor to The Pukes, even on the albums final and finest moment, “Google It Bitch“.

The ukulele has become a familiar sight at punk shows with bands like Uke Punk! and Uke Hunt, and the likes of Millie Manders And The Shutup and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes also utilising the diminutive instrument. For those not familiar with The Pukes this is a fine introduction, like The Ramonas before them they have shifted away from the constraints of being a covers band and set off on their own path, and on the basis of “Never Mind The Buffet” this is no bad thing. Check out the album whilst there is still some Summer left and maybe join The Pukes when they celebrate the album’s release with a party at The Dublin Castle, London on Friday September 13th.

“Never Mind The Buffet” can be pre-ordered on CD via The Pukes website here