“Standing At All” by Knuckle Pups: Cohesion, Community, Companionship


Today, I sat down in front of my computer, ready to take notes on “Standing at All.” About five seconds in, I started typing, “this has to be a Midwest pop-punk/emo band.” And perhaps I was justified in this thought; maybe it had to do with the crude, hand-drawn cover for their album TV Ready, or maybe it was the band’s name itself (Knuckle Pups, not to be confused with similarly named and sounding band Knuckle Puck).

Then, once I heard the layered vocals from Olivia Hendrick and Coco Martin, I started backspacing. In that moment, the heavier, drum-powered, multi-instrumental introduction to the song suddenly felt more polished, even despite the stark contrast in pitch between Hendrick and Martin. It doesn’t necessarily lack that sloppy-sounding early 2010s pop punk sound (or “pup punk,” if you check the band’s social media pages. If you ask me, Knuckle Pups seems to fuse musical subgenres without laying a finger on a specific one. Their above-average size (five members, all of whom play different instruments) grants them the opportunity to add a wide array of different sounds and styles.

And if you ask the band itself, I bet they’d tell you the exact same thing. Knuckle Pups brands themselves on cohesiveness and community, both in the way they interact as a band and the way their sounds blend together to create something they’re proud of.

“Music has always been equally about the actual art of creating something that you love, but also about the sense of work that it takes to bring people together,” says main Knuckle Pups songwriter Oliver Holloway.

“Maybe I won’t laugh at all, because I’ll be

I’ll be standing here and you’ll be standing there

At least that’s something

At least we haven’t given up yet”

“Standing at All” is a song about love and companionship, managing to reflect the Knuckle Pups philosophy in a wholesome way. It’s presumably a source of pride for the band. Fairly upbeat and bright, the song is a carefully crafted mosaic of uplifting thoughts and promises. It’s intended to make you feel good about yourself and others.

Knuckle Pups, from Denver, has a couple of upcoming shows lined up in their city, and they’ll likely be performing “Standing at All” as well as some other songs off their album, TV Ready, which came out on July 15th. It’s their first full-length album, and certainly one to celebrate.


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