Reviews Pujol X File On Main St.

Pujol

X File On Main St.

There’s no wasting time on X File on Main St. Within the first few lines, singer Daniel Pujol has taken his stance on careers, art, children, and life in general. I don’t know much, if anything, about his previous acts Meemaw and Saigon Baby, but Pujol plays noisy, stripped down garage that celebrates a DIY punk ethic. His vocals are shouted and direct, and the music is beautifully sloppy and energetic. Oh, and with a bit of classic rock’n’roll sleaze added to the picture (“I make my art the same that I cum: hard”).

The record, from Jeff the Brotherhood’s Infinity Cat label, is a celebration of the Nashville, TN scene. While this sounds rather insular, the music extends beyond its references, playing on the universal appeal of the themes mentioned earlier. This isn’t the punky garage from Denton, TX, however. There’s a lot more fuzzed out lo-fi involved, which makes sense given that Pujol is something of a one-man project, albeit with numerous guest musicians throughout. A glance at the wavelength for any song on the album is more or less maxed out at all times. When the guitars are toned down, a walking bass line drives the rhythm along.

Among the standouts are “Getnhard” and “How High,” with a big melody/refrain. Both have a personal, one-man feel to them without feeling like skeletal instrumentation. Instead it just feels like it’s clearly got one voice behind the song. The dynamics and scale changes serve the structures well, giving them more body that ultimately has a bit of a pop feel minus the gloss. Similarly, “Rightnwrong” maintains that directness, while taking on broader sociological topics that blend direct lyrics and simple word choice with bigger topics: “that hobo is crazy/ he’s yelling at that baby/ but he’s got no arms/ who is wrong/ who did that to him?”

While some songs, like “BBQ” and “Jungmoney,” sound like they were recorded in a tin shack, the notes play through the rattle in a promising way—it’s complementary to the songs, rather than being a noisy acquired taste. X File continually balances between listener-friendly melody and lo-fi recording quality to an effective degree of characterizing the project as the brainchild of Daniel Pujol, yet it doesn’t sound remotely like a solo or vanity project. Instead, it sounds like a respected musician, gathering with his friends to collaborate on some rollicking rock’n’roll. Plus, it makes me far more curious about the current Nashville scene.

7.4 / 10Loren
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7.4 / 10

7.4 / 10

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