The alt-country, indie rock trio of Eef Barzelay, Brendan Fitzpatrick and Ben Martin, otherwise known as Clem Snide (named after a William S. Burroughs character) come off last year’s release, Hungry Bird, with more of the same on The Meat of Life. Clem Snide fans know what to expect: focused, mostly unassuming arrangements, poised melodies and Barzelay’s slice-of-life lyrics that balance personable pathos against tales of ruined romance.

During indie-pop piece “Wal-Mart Parking Lot,” Barzelay sings how blacktop at sunrise can alleviate the pain of a midnight breakup. Cello and acoustic guitar aid in dramatizing romantic dispossession during poignant “With Nothing Much to Show of It.” “BFF,” concerning the awkward moment when friendship veers toward relationship, is prodded by electric guitar and an alt-rock inclination.

The Meat of Life doesn’t break loose from what has come before, which is fine since that provides a reliable backdrop to Barzelay’s melancholia and his emotional turbulence.