Describing their music as “wimpycore,” Los Angeles indie rock outfit Buddy recently released their second album, Last Call For The Quiet Life. A record with a multitude of elements but grounded in a very set style, the albumis the evolution of a musical project that started off years ago as purely acoustic. Growing in volume and energy, the band has added to its sound several keyboards, synthesizers, electric guitar, and an up-tempo vibe that infuses itself with soulful indie pop, with delicate but noticeable shades of post-rock added to accentuate a wistful and wandering vibe.
The record consists for the most part of a series of pop songs with a somewhat underground persuasion, with a slew of different instruments uniformly projecting a very melancholic mood. Layered together are often acoustic guitar, background walls of keyboard, tinkering electronics, and a shower of electric guitar with resonant hints of post-rock and the indie pioneers of old. This is best noticeable on tracks such as the opener “Weak Currents,” the piano/synth ballad “Anchor,” and the soulful closing oddity “Scrap Metal.” But for all its soulfulness and melodic layers, there is also a prevalent accompaniment of up-tempo rock as the foundation of several songs, such as the track “Bad Advice (Behind It),” the infectious “Fault Lines,” and the more explosive “Frames Per Second.” Together, these elements infuse to deliver a sound that combines the emotional insight of singer-songwriter music, the melodic soundscapes of post-rock, and the energy and infectiousness of indie pop.
If Buddy’s music can be truly described as “wimpy,” then I don’t want to be tough (forgive me, Merle Haggard). Last Call For The Quiet Life is a masterful and extremely engaging work of pop music, with fresh and catchy pieces and a versatility that constantly prevents it from overindulging in sappiness. A textbook indie record that hopefully won’t take as long to be followed by a third release.