25 September 2023

Pretty buff

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Angel Du$t, Roadrunner Records 2019.

Angel Du$t is a cross-over punk indie rock band who burst onto the scene in 2016 with their second album, Rock The F*** On Forever, and Pretty Buff is their follow up and first for Roadrunner Records.

The band are Maryland (Baltimore) natives and comprised of members of two hugely popular local Hard Core punk bands, Turnstile and Trapped Under Ice.

They were named as artists to watch in 2019 by Billboard and the two singles pre-released before this album, Big Ass Love and Take Away The Pain have been getting plenty of air time and been listed in the 20 best rock songs right now by Fader Magazine.

Angel Du$t provide the hard core punk guys with a chance to play melodic rock that is fast paced, acoustic guitar based, and loaded with pop hooks and harmonies; something that is generally anathema to punk practitioners.

Their formula is to lay a bed of chunky acoustic guitars down and then build layers of harmonies and percussion on top, served up with the occasional guitar or sax solo.

Over this rhythmic bed they create catchy melodies and sing-along choruses that are quite irresistible.

Their creation lends itself more to the British pop rock sound than it does the American pop/punk scene.

I love the opening track, No Fair, with its really catchy melody and easily understood lyrics.

It has you singing along from the first listen. It should be the next single.

In fact, the album is full of potential singles such is the mastery of the pop idiom by these assembled punks.

Most of the songs on the disc are short, a number of them under two minutes in length, which seems to sum up the album.

Short, sharp, fast and memorable.

It’s like a blast from 1979 updated to 2019.

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