Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Grant Johnson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
Daniel Pujol is the kind of man who, as a child, probably was in detention a lot. He was probably a guy who just couldn't keep his mind focused on the schoolwork at hand. He likely started off, out the windows, looking at the squirrels chasing rings around the tree outside, daydreaming of jumping bikes and finding frogs down at the pond. He probably wasn't a bad kid at all, but he was a kid who didn't necessarily want to be there and couldn't force himself to remain in his seat. He would have been, and still seems to be, bombarded by restlessness, a need to be entertained.
Pujol makes music that is devoid of anything that could be considered safe or typical, instead making his songs sound as if they were daredevils, jumping a gorge or twelve buses with a motorcycle, leaping out of airplanes without parachutes or walking a wire between two skyscrapers, hundreds of feet above the ground, with no net below them. They act as bold statements of youthful expression. He makes them sound as if they are irascible and dangerous, exposing us to a level of energy that would require the consumption of four-to-five times the recommended daily choleric intake, or a significant amount of alcohol and no food whatsoever.
The music sizzles line the lit end of a fuse and it makes you want to throw yourself around a room as if you were in a seizure, flailing and sweetly sweating, causing a one-man or one-woman mob scene. He is the result of having a mind that, upon finding, say, an antique, but live atom bomb out in the desert, near the United States Military testing sites, would zoom to the conclusion that a drum should be rounded up, filled with gasoline and the A-bomb and then shooting fire balls at it from some yards away to set it off - a la the classic 1990s joint "Joe Dirt." Pujol is the explosion of a wealth of talent that cannot be taught or faked. It is fierce - with smoldering guitar playing, an uncompromising backbeat and an energy that we think must be what it feels like to ride a bull and win, to not need the clowns to stop the horned beast from goring you to death. It's that feeling - that afterword feeling - when you've realized what you've just done, with your cowboy boots off and your feet up, with that stupid, snorting and bucking bull feeling defeated. You know that you just kicked some animal ass. It's a feeling that Pujol invented.
*Essay originally published March, 2011
Pujol Official Site
Saddle Creek Records