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Music

Puppet Rebellion’s debut, ‘Chemical Friends’ should start a buzz (Grade: A-minus)

Perhaps my favorite thing about Twitter is that it’s a place to connect with under-the-radar musicians. Perhaps my favorite among those I’ve come across the past few years is the British alternative rock band Puppet Rebellion.

Young bands from all over the world – but particularly England – will reach out to people who write about rock music, hoping to catch their attention, and through them perhaps attract new fans in new places. So, here’s my pitch for Sauk Valley alt rock fans to give Puppet Rebellion a spin.

The Manchester band just released its debut album, “Chemical Friends,” and it’s one of the best I’ve heard in 2017. Puppet Rebellion is a five-piece band with two guitars, bass, drums and vocals. There’s nothing gimmicky about the band. It plays straightforward, bouncy guitar-driven rock in the style of fellow British alternative bands Catfish and the Bottlemen, White Lies and Sundara Karma (also a band I came across first via Twitter).

What sets these bands apart from others are their catchy, anthemic choruses. Puppet Rebellion’s “Chemical Friends” has those in ample supply. The album’s highlight is also its oldest song – “Cupboards Painted Red” was a track on the band’s 2014 EP “No Means Yes.” It, along with other standouts “The Pact,” “Hey Now” and “Impact” have choruses guaranteed to stick in your head after only a few listens.

On the singles “Slave” and “Please Me,” the band displays a funky tinge – the latter reminding me a bit of INXS. And the album’s closing track, “Dark Thoughts,” is a beautiful, stripped down ballad.

Puppet Rebellion has been a buzz band for a few years in England. It’s time for that buzz to start in the States.

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