Saddle Creek

Street: 05.20

Pujol = The Ramones + Beck – Green Day

Depending on which of the various definitions of the title of Daniel Pujol’s sophomore album you choose, the varied and eclectically claustrophobic sounds found therein somehow all merge to make a great album. It only takes one listen to lead single (and Record Store Day 2014 exclusive green-colored vinyl release) “Circles” to hear that Pujol employs a melodic sensibility in his schizo-ish songcraft. Arguably this is punk at best (“Manufactured Crisis Control,” “Pitch Black,” and “Sacred Harp BFK” respectively) or at times rock n’ roll (“Judas Booth,” “Post Grad,” and the especially brilliant “Circles”) but along the way small flashes of singer-songwriter balladry (“No Words,” “Spooky Scary” or the fantastic “Dark Haired Suitor”) do pop into the mix. Kudos to Pujol and his producer Doni Shroader for maintaining the right balance between music and words, where the lyrics can not only be heard but comprehended as well. –Dean O Hillis