by Sean Maloney
Hot damn, that's my jam! For the last few weeks, The Buddies' "All the Beer Is Gone" has been my
drunk driving buzzed driving totally-sober-and-completely-legal-and-safety-minded-driving song, blaring out of my speakers whenever it's time to stick a fork in the nightlife and head back to the Malone Zone. In fact, this tune — and the entire Buddies album — has gotten so much play at Fort Baloney that the wife and I are prone to spontaneous outbreaks of our own entirely ham-fisted renditions. It's like we have some sort of Buddies-induced call-and-response Tourette's. Also the line "Everything gives you the shits" is probably going to end up on my tombstone, as it pretty much summarizes my entire existence. It's a bit freaky — freaky, but not unsurprising. If I was the kind of guy who had a resume, under my "skills" it would read, "Drinking, listening to songs about drinking, drinking while writing about listening to songs about drinking."
F*** the Buddies isn't, as the name may imply, just one drunk, scuzz-punk dimension. There's a scuzzy folk one in there too! It's like Howard Devoto singing sea shanties, or at times like cowboys crooning mid-period Mekons. Rueful on tracks like "The Admiral" and "I Hope You Don't Die Before Me," rowdy on "Let's Get Happy" and "I Got Drunk," the album has a joie de vivre that you don't find very often — F*** the Buddies confronts mortality head on, cocktail in hand and tape rolling. Well, at least until the beer runs out, at which point they call it a day and pack it in, but that's completely understandable. Featuring Nashville rock power-couple Kim and Scott Collins, Scott's brother Justin — who was behind the brilliant idea to start our trip to SXSW with a case of Coors in the van — and Chicago's Coley Kennedy and Jeremy "The Mouse" Barrett, F*** the Buddies is basically a power hour of folky punk-rock singalongs. Drink up.