Listen to Entitled, the debut album from Philly fuzz-punks Buddie - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Buddie | photo via Bandcamp

The meaning of “alternative” music is not one easily attained. To some, it’s an umbrella term used to describe a multitude of sub-genres. Or, it’s a prefix often applied to anything that deviates from the typical sound of a song’s genre. But when the term “alternative” was first applied to music, it was just as much about the music’s message as it was its sound. And while that meaning has certainly been diluted, it hasn’t been erased. For proof, just look at Philly fuzz-punks Buddie and their new LP Entitled, which the band tagged on Bandcamp as “alternative.”

From the get-go you can hear how current and politically aware this music is. On lead track “Aggressor,” the band sings, “Everybody is so amazed when he takes the stage,” while later saying that “he’s an illusion / it’s all a masquerade.” In this political season, it’s not hard to imagine who “he” might be. On “Francis,” they mention how “corporate stooges live in la-la land.” They seem to get quite blunt with their dissatisfaction of the world’s current state on “Fightin’.” In verse one, they admit to “contemplating the monotony,” and then let out all their disgust in verse two: “Burning oil and tress to destroy us / with a snap of fingers they deploy us / Donald Trump has a plan to keep out Mexicans / then he’ll smoke a cigar with Vladimir Putin.” And track five, “GOP,” well I think its title hints at where that one’s going.

Then there’s “Vainiac,” where Buddie takes a stab at today’s culture. They sing of possessions and time spent online and then ask, “When you’re on your death bed, will you remember any of it?” It’s a valid point to make when we live in a world where you can walk outside and see most people are plugged in, one way or another.

It’s commendable for Buddie to write songs that truly speak their minds. Sure, the sounds of Entitled are more than enjoyable. The baselines are impressive. The guitars get heavy at times, but nothing too strong for my usually mild taste. The vocals remind me a little of Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, but that might just be me reaching for a comparison.

Nevertheless, the sound is nothing without the augmentation it gets from the message. Together, the two factors have produced a real winner of an album. Give Buddie’s Entitled a listen below.

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