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The best kept secret in music


"Guff - Symphony of Voices"

Guff are a punk rock band from Athens, Georgia, United States. If you’re a fan of NOFX, Band Religion or Rise Against this is an album you need to add to your collection. Symphony of Voices is a 13 track record that I can honestly say is thoroughly enjoyable to listen too. When I say they’re punk rock I don’t mean Blink 182 or New Found Glory, it’s gritty and energetic, with attitude. Having played almost 700 shows since 1999 they’re seasoned pros and the latest release reflects the sound they’ve developed after years of hard work, Great stuff! - crimson

"catchy pop-punk without the clowning, produced by Charlie Paulson of Goldfinger and featuring a guest appearance from Journey's Steve Perry"

Pop-punk is a balancing act, like walking the top of a narrow wall between the junkyard of credible obscurity and the manicured garden of MTV daytime bubblegum. The wall is narrower than ever, and too high to climb easily – there's little movement across the barrier. But occasionally a band will manage to scramble from the junkyard and take a turn at the tightrope walk – bands like Guff.

Guff have been knocking around at the authentic end of the US punk scene since before the millennium, touring with all the right acts, paying their dues, honing their chops. With Symphony Of Voices, produced by Charlie Paulson of ska-punk stalwarts Goldfinger, they've brought in just enough accessibility and catchiness to garner a wider audience without alienating their roots. Their sound is grounded in the simple and pacey punk structures of the West Coast punk sound, but embellished with the polish and bright clean hooks of late eighties rock and topped off with vocals that draw on the emo tradition without wandering too deeply in to the forest of theatrics. The guitars chug away, tight and close to the rhythm section, throwing in plenty of simple solos and lead lines along the way; the drumming is snappy and brisk; the lyrics are delivered in authentically harmonised layers and memorable melodic choruses; the song structures nod to the formulas and clichés, but contain enough surprises to keep the listener engaged.

The biggest surprise is probably the presence of an as-yet unreleased Journey song that features guest vocals from Steve Perry, who was allegedly so impressed by Guff when he wandered into the studio that they were recording in that he was compelled to let them perform the piece.

It's a good album, all in all; not great, but way above average. It's never going to set the charts on fire, because it's just that little bit too tough for the pop kids, and it's a smidgen too easy on the ear to maintain serious underground credentials. But it's a relief to hear that there are still bands about who can write pop-punk music without surrendering to the childish cartoon antics that have come to be a hallmark of the genre. Guff are stood on that wall with arms outstretched, enjoying the view and in full sight of punters from both sides of the divide, and they may just be one of the outfits that can keep their balance and hold their vantage point. - Paul Raven

"GUFF "Symphony of Voices" (Go-Kart)"

For a website with "punk" in its domain name, it's somewhat remarkable how little actual punk rock we cover. It's always hardcore this, metal that, or some emo screamo drivel. Fortunately, Georgia's GUFF are able to offer a bit of a reprieve with Symphony of Voices, the band's follow-up full-length to 2003's Engine Problems. Planted somewhere between early GOB and NOFX with a dab of melody from UNWRITTEN LAW and STRUNG OUT, GUFF readily scream "mid-90s!" Symphony of Voices is less pop-punk than its predecessor, but is still chock full of soaring lead vocals, buzzin' guitars, and sticky group harmonies.

Pop elements or not, GUFF's main attraction is its speedy and blazin' guitars. While there's more than a few burners on Symphony, track five, "No Gods, No Masters," is the band at its double-bass driven finest. Angry, flustered, and stacked with involved, mutli-layered vocals, it's the best example of the band derailing from the often linear constraints of punk rock. "No More Time," is propelled by dark bass lines and an intro that sounds oddly similar to the beginning of a song from AUTOPILOT OFF.

Punk bands covering JOURNEY songs has become unironic-ironic feature for years, but GUFF seems to have one-upped the deal by featuring a previously unreleased JOURNEY song titled "I Can See It In Your Eyes," on the album. Notably, the legendary Steve Perry ran into the band when they were in the studio, and according to Go-Kart Records, Perry returned unannounced and asked GUFF to record the song with him, including Perry on backing vocals. Take that you army of "Anyway You Want It" copycats! GUFF have always betrayed the seriousness of their music with disconnected, heavily illustrated artwork, and a band image that lies more with teenage skatepunk loiterers than skilled musicians with plenty of substance in their lyrics. And while I don't think they've escaped that with Symphony's artwork and some of the goofiness that appears on their MySpace page, this full-length is no half-hearted affair and should appeal openly to fans of A WILHELM SCREAM, RYAN'S HOPE, and LAGWAGON. - Jordan A. Baker


I'm wondering why the booklet of this album turned out to be the way it is. Half of it is printed upside down, so you have two covers to choose from. Which you'll pick depends on if you're in a nu-metal mood or a new school metalcore mood. Either way, it doesn't really represent the band's music that well, and the typography is annoyingly gothic. Anyway. For people who don't already know Guff (read: me), the cover could mislead you. But basicly, Guff plays of good produced pop punk with emotional vocals and rifss which aren't the most original ones around. Some songs are mid-tempo, others are faster. There are no real bad songs, if you like the genre. It's all worked out perfectly and predictable. That's why the chances are slim i'm going to put this on again. I bet there are lots of kids out there who will. - Jim Faes


Kicked To The Curb LP 2000, Guff is a Disaster EP 2002, Engine Trouble LP 2003, Symphony of Voices LP 2007. Streaming audio at and at

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Feeling a bit camera shy


Some bands take off instantly; others struggle for years and then break through only to be called the overnight success story.

Guff is the latter. And they have more than paid their dues along the way. Since they formed in 1999, Guff has played almost 700 shows for everyone from Sum 41, Big Wig, Flogging Molly, Strung Out and The Aquabats to Dynamite Boy, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Citizen Fish. On one early tour when their van broke down and they had no money to repair it, they volunteered for a medical research program that would pay them enough to buy a new van and continue the tour. Guff's guitarist Jay received over 46 shots in 11 days!

Guff's new record "Symphony of Voices," was produced by Charlie Paulson of Goldfinger and Noah Shain (Orson).

"Symphony of Voices" is Guff but better. It still has their fun-loving spirit, but with a newfound immediacy not heard on earlier releases.

And check this out: while Guff was in the studio, Steve Perry, the legendary lead singer of Journey, walked in to visit a friend. He was so impressed with Guff that he showed up unannounced two days later and asked Guff to cover an unreleased Journey Song. Steve not only produced the song "I Can See It In Your Eyes" but also sang on it! The Track has already been played nationwide on Joe Benson's syndicated "Off The Record" radio show (heard in over 100 markets) and additionally on SM Satellite Radio.

Guff will be on the road non-stop once "Symphoy Of Voices" is released. They will play on this year's Warped Tour and headline shows anywhere and everywhere