Angel Du$t’s March 15 Roadrunner Records release Pretty Buff proves immediately catchy. One can really get lost in the music, a uniquely and strikingly upbeat brand of energetic punk that stays more true to its core, sprawling vision than anything else. The generally short, straightforward songs feel applicable to a whopping range of life situations, like you could hear these tracks pop up anywhere from a beach bar to Warped Tour. The dynamics the band have achieved via their embrace of energy are truly impressive.
Angel Du$t feel as though, with their newest effort, they’ve taken some of the in-your-face energy that defines some of the members’ other, more directly hardcore work—including Turnstile and Trapped Under Ice—and transported it to a new environment, letting noisy punk that might have a tendency to devolve into more chaos burst forth with a renewed energy. The music, on a fundamental level, packs excitement, essentially never letting up throughout the duration of Pretty Buff and going so far into vividly imaginative territory as to include a saxophone at a couple of points.
Listeners’ experiences with the record can veer off in any number of directions rather than the album proving rigid and suffocating by any stretch of the imagination. A personal element makes itself known at the center of the work, with vocalist Justice Tripp singing at times about heartrending desires like one to have his pain abated and one to have just another moment with a certain loved one.
That might explain just where this music gets its source material that sets it apart, letting the record dip its toes into everything from surf punk to hardcore without getting too tied down. The experience feels ultimately meant to be emotional. Where “normal” hardcore proves very physical and gets the body moving, this music, with its unified but sprawling instrumentation and lyrics that pull on heartstrings, seems to also focus on getting the mind moving. Strikingly enough considering just how energetic these songs are, Pretty Buff has a seemingly carefully nuanced presentation. Just like the music feels at home in any number of environments, listeners could easily jump around in a live setting or sit at home and think to these tunes—and the band capture that range in a strikingly fresh and unique fashion.