Too Drunk To PluckHoo Ha Records
By Ashley N. Milholland
Hoo Ha Records proudly presents the much anticipated debut album from The Pukes‘ ‘Too Drunk To Pluck.” Having formed in 2011 with the intention to sink a few pints of beer and play some punk songs on ukuleles, the band has since move their pass time into a full time endeavor.
With a predominately female line-up, this 18-piece punk-a-lele posse features former members of UK Subs, Infa Riot, The Ramonas, Lost Cherrees and Rabies Babies along with a slew of newcomers to orchestrate their unique sound. It’s a sound they’re trying to push forwards thanks to a grant from Arts Council England which enables them to run workshops at festivals helping to encourage kids and adults alike to pick up the uke and have a go at it.
While some people may say that it’s almost impossible to think punk could be played on the ukulele and still have sound like punk rock; The Pukes prove it on this album as they rework some of punk’s greatest hits. What originally sounds like an electric guitar is slowly revealed to be an electric ukulele backed up by pounding drums and bass to give it the punk rock edge.
Throughout ‘Too Drunk To Pluck, The Pukes put a new sound on several familiar and famous punk tracks from the likes of The Ramones, Discharge, Peter and the Test Tube Babies and Cock Sparrer while mixing it up with some originals in the likes of Fight Song and The Ballad Of Micky Fitz. The album’s sound is a definitely punk with a 1980’s twist that reminds you of one of The Go’s Go’s albums, especially thanks to the anthemic female gang vocals.
The third track covers The Dead Kennedys‘ “Holiday in Cambodia” and on this track you can hear the heavy intro of the bass, the electric ukulele riffs, gang vocals that sound like punk angels singing along with their UK accent dominating the lyrics of the song.
The most prevalent instrument that helps carry the music on this album are the bass and drums along with the electric ukulele coming out on the fourth and fifth tracks, especially. Track nine, their take on Wire‘s 12XU, has a kick ass bass line that stands out that will blow your mind.
The Pukes album ‘Too Drunk To Pluck’ is a unique accomplishment in punk rock music that creates a new sound using a relatively foreign punk instrument. This album proves that any instrument is possible of creating any type of sound in any genre–The Pukes have done it and now the world should hear it.