Pujol

Kludge

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Nashville indie hero Daniel Pujol offers up another round of exuberant, colorful, and off-kilter rock songs on Kludge, his second LP for the Saddle Creek label. Launched like a missile at your head, his oppositional world views, philosophical meanderings, and over-the-top snarl pretty much assure that any release under the Pujol banner will be a polarizing one. Still, there is something likeable and attractive about his trashy, lo-fi offerings that hint at a sensitive and earnest soul underneath the howling and humorous delivery. From the opening line of "I'm getting back into the swing of things, I had a real bad year" on the charming "Judas Booth," he draws you in with a relatable concept and massive melodic hooks that fall somewhere between Andrew W.K.'s motivational pomp and Cheap Trick's barroom pop. This strong sense of melody, delivered with plenty of rock & roll abandon, pervades the rest of Kludge as it thrashes ("Manufactured Crisis Control"), rants ("Post Grad"), and strums ("Dark Haired Suitor") its way toward its epic eight-minute finale "Youniverse." Recorded during the off-hours at a suicide-prevention center for teens just outside of Nashville, Pujol and producer Doni Shroader have loaded the album with a pastiche of sounds, samples, and noise, adding even more spontaneity to Kludge's already loose, garage-heavy mass. Although this seems to be part of Pujol's whole, at times it feels like he's hiding some pretty good material behind that messy facade, going for the sonic gag when many of the songs are smart enough to stand on their own without all the clutter. But as one of the definitions of the word kludge states, it is "a crock that works."

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