Weekly 40-Watt #11: Angel Du$t's 'Pretty Buff'

Weekly 40-Watt is a feature where I listen to an album or band, new or old, for the first time and jot down some notes on it.

Before this last week, I’d listened to one Angel Du$t album once. It was last year and the album was (and I guess still is) called A.D., which is an album that contains 12 songs and is 15 minutes in length. It’s not quite a hardcore album, although I guess it’s a hardcore album maybe since this band is comprised of members of Trapped Under Ice and Turnstile, but either way it’s this pretty big-sounding, roaming punk album that was a lot of fun to listen to then I never returned to it because I probably forgot to click a button that would have added it to the thing. That album sounds like one of the giants in Game of Thrones decided to front a punk band and just stomped around the whole time.

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For no good reason at all aside from that’s just the way life goes, I didn’t ever think about this band again until I started reading about how their new album Pretty Buff is a departure from their past sound. Stuff like this is interesting to me because why not check out a bunch of hardcore guys playing something that’s apparently more poppy? Artists expressing a different side of their interests can serve to hone their primary craft even more, so this type of artistic progression is often worthwhile and interesting and the album is called Pretty Buff which I found pretty intriguing too.

The next thing I did was I had to go to Angel Du$t’s artist profile on Apple Music, and wow is that band name annoying to type, but I went to their artist profile because I had to indeed make sure it was the same band I was thinking about that I heard that one album from that one time. Pretty Buff sounds like a genuine poppy alt-rock album, especially when you get to the song “Push” in the middle that definitely sounds like it was made in 1994, but you can tell it’s the same band because the vocalist is still kind of having the exact same type of fun.

An aside here is that the vocalist for Angel Dus$s$st (and listen I know it’s probably lame to make fun of their name, but if you put the dollar sign in there and I spend most of my time extolling the virtues of why you should buy TV and Internet service from the company that pays me to tell you why you should buy TV and Internet service from them, then probably when I take out a half-hour of my time to blog about your band I’ll find it unbelievably tempting to make fun of the dollar sign) sounds a lot like Mark Hoppus (famous for his work with +44) at times. It’s only when he does this one specific way of singing but it happens often enough that you’ll probably hear it a bit. It’s like Mark Hoppus decided to play weird ‘90s alt-rock with a band that’s much more organized than Mark’s primary band and that’s the line y’all can put on the sticker that goes on the CDs at Best Buy.

“Bang My Drum” comes right after “Push” and is the best song on the album because it features a saxophone solo at the end. Aside from that, it’s the best example of how Angel Dust I’m not typing the dollar sign anymore can write a progression of guitar chords that always gets stuck in my head. Since I don’t know anything about music, it could be possible that this guitar progression is used in like 1,000 songs a year and if that’s the case don’t tweet me about it but just know that I know that you are a lot smarter and better at music listening than I am. “Bang My Drum” is the correct length of time, it’s one of the best songs I’ve heard this year, and it never tries to be some random other type of song for 30 seconds. If I was good at music, I would start a cover band with seventy percussionists and we would close all of our sets at the local bar & grille with this song. The people would love it, because they’re all in my band, because the max seating capacity of this bar is 40 people and I’ve got 70 musicians so we’re really crammed in here and boy it’s humid tonight.

One other thing that $$Angel Dust$$ does is they play these punk -sounding guitar chords with acoustic guitars in a strumming pattern or whatever that seems to repeat itself across a few songs. This is true about “On My Way” and “Let Me Know” most obviously, then other songs like “Big Ass Love,” which is one of my other favorite songs here (also “No Fair” and “Want It All” are other faves), can sometimes sound like they’re falling into the same type of style even though they’re a bit different. I only mention this because the other day I listened to the album like four times in a row and it started to feel repetitive but to be fair to the band, they might not have considered that a digital marketer would just have not gotten up from his desk for 2 hours in a row and spent that entire time listening to their album because it was a bright spot in a boring and/or frustrating day.