Nasty, Brutish, And Short EP
Release Date: Oct 18, 11
It’s not every day that a band aims for the sound of the 60s and ends up with something that feels more akin to a more recent nostalgia (but maybe I’m just stuck in the 90s). But perhaps coming from Nashville has something to do with it for PUJOL (unlikely). As a band named for front man/creator Daniel Pujol, mother of the self-described “E-merican Realism” genre, the group drops their first Saddle Creek release to the sweet tune of being featured as new music on NPR already. The EP, titled Nasty, Brutish, And Short, encompasses a sampling of the same rock variation, somewhere between pseudo-edgy-pop and indie-chill-grunge. Simply put, it’s refreshing. It feels new even when some of the tracks bleed their affect into one another. But it doesn’t matter – PUJOL has put the ideas of culture through the rock and roll machine, even if at times it feels a little simplistic.
Immediately beginning the album, “Mayday” opens up as a portal to your unknown past. It could easily have been what Pete or Pete listened to for a little pep and/or proudly displaying angst on The Adventures of Pete & Pete. It sets a rather self-righteous tone, and I’m not complaining. As Pujol himself stated, the song implies being the cool-wise-one without necessarily “feigning teenage omniscience. ”
Digging more into the punk tones of his voice, Pujol blends together romantic pop notions with defiant and selfish (as seen earlier) plans on the shorter “Scully.” Like a Sex Pistols version of a Girls track.
Slowing down the pace a bit, but holding tight to the cynical-youth demeanor, “Battles” is a simpler tune that gives off the impression of meaning to be something more. “Everyone’s fighting battles” but Pujol sees it more as “so beautiful.” Passivity?
“Babe you just a brain, ain’t got no feeling.” Tell it like it really is. He sounds as genuine as ever, but something about the steady beat keeps on in my head and I have to listen to the song several times to satisfy myself. It’s a repetitive hum that hits the sweet spot. And his insistence on the subject’s lack of human feelings is admirable. In that punk rock kind of way.
Starting off with a clear statement of getting high all the time, smoking buds all the time and making love to everyone, Pujol calls himself a tiny god. Go for it – with that repetitive slur to the song that I’m now considering a signature mark, “Tiny Gods (Singularity)” is yet another quick interlude that catches you and lets you go just as quickly. Lingering could be nice, but it’s still complete.
With a slightly more noticeable twang to his nonchalant yowling croons, “Point Of View” is not only longer than the previous tracks, but it fits more into the standard song formula. As the closing song, it’s like the light of the promised land of alternative is shining – that PUJOL’s follow-up to Nasty, Brutish, And Short will be nasty, brutish, and long. And hopefully it lives up to that.