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Angel Du$t - Brand New Soul (Album Review)

Friday, 15 September 2023 Written by Jack McGill

Photo: Elyza Reinhart

Angel Du$t’s ‘Brand New Soul’ might as well be the soul of Justice Tripp pressed to vinyl, pulling together his status as a hardcore figurehead and jangle-pop experimenter in a manner that we haven’t seen before.

Tripp rose to significance within hardcore back in 2007, when Trapped Under Ice’s demo set a new bar for gritty beatdowns. They gained a cult-like following during the following decade, before Angel Du$t arrived and immediately began thinning the herd — some still bow at his feet, but others gag at the thought of him ever making something that could be considered soft. 

‘Brand New Soul’ shies away from nothing, showing off each side of Tripp’s creative persona. When he chooses to tap into his heavy history it’s obvious but forward-thinking.

Love Slam features some murky brass working in tandem with rougher strings for a cursed take on melodic hardcore, while Sippin’ Lysol hits traditional notes at a guns-blazing tempo where only the wildest of spin kicks are welcome.

Elsewhere, Angel Du$t dip into the new wave of hardcore that branches out more readily into pop, appreciating the power of melody. Tracks such as Don’t Stop and Born 2 Run fall into the arms of indie-pop guitar tones like someone who needs a warm hug.

Even a short-lived moment like Muck Motors — 30 seconds of choral vocals, acoustic guitars and floaty synths — gives the record space with its elements only linked by a resonant feeling. Among the brash sounds that are to be found elsewhere on ‘Brand New Soul’, it almost feels enlightening.

It goes to show that the folks who chose not to follow Tripp post-TUI were missing the bigger picture: you can indulge in your own softness while maintaining raw and unbridled rage. Maybe ‘Brand New Soul’ is a prized moment to remind hardcore fans that you can like and be many different things at once. 


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