Brand New Soul
Baltimore collective Angel Du$t released their fifth record, BRAND NEW SOUL, on Friday. It’s a 13-song sprint that clocks in at under half an hour, but the group, which features members of Trapped Under Ice and punk flag-bearers Turnstile, waste no time in exploring plenty of avenues for an energetic listen.
It’s a mix of breakneck hardcore ragers and more intricate pop rock songs, making for a refreshing record that presumably satisfies everyone involved in both the creation and the consumption. It sounds like a band making the music they want to make, which is a method that can often alienate but in this instance invites.
The songs that stick out are the ones that stray beyond the rigid structure of hardcore, incorporating acoustic guitars and jangly lead riffs, most exemplified in the album’s midway highlight, “Born 2 Run.” It’s a great pop rock song and the one I find myself returning to the most. It spends the last minute dismantling itself, slowing down and letting synths and saxophones sprawl out.
It’s immediately followed by the brief instrumental “Muck Motors,” another highlight. It’s an interesting precursor to the sprint of lead single “Very Aggressive.” The song maintains its hardcore roots in the relentless rhythm section but offers more in its acoustic guitar breakdown and staccato stomp halfway through.
According to the group’s Wikipedia, the Turnstile members that had previously contributed to Angel Du$t had devoted most of their attention to their main band, leaving de facto frontman Justice Tripp to fill their roles with musicians who had toured with Angel Du$t. Without knowing how much time these artists have spent collaborating, the album still radiates camaraderie and the songs are tight and well-practiced.
The opening title track appears to be an homage to the catharsis of rock and roll itself, and if you listen to the rest of BRAND NEW SOUL as being dedicated to the act of creating music with like-minded individuals, it only enhances the camaraderie. It sounds like the musicians are having fun, which can be a huge relief in a landscape where the most respected and heralded albums are the ones that torture the artists. Music can be fun!
Order Brand New Soul by Angel Du$t HERE
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