Given the fact that he’s always
been an indie operator, it’s likely that Joe Pug’s recognition will continue to
come slowly and only in increments at that. On the other hand, that’s the only
reason why Pug shouldn’t catch on quicker. His latest, The Great Despiser,
should – despite a title to the contrary – provoke a love fest for anyone who
has a soft spot for delicately-strummed ballads and gently stoked sentiment.
To be sure, Pug employs an
able backing band, one that adds subtle nuance to songs such as “Ours” through its
patchwork rhythm, “Neither Do I Need a Witness” via a turgid rumble, and the
title track, which boasts a sturdy resolve and increasingly rousing refrains.
An yet, as he also demonstrates, emotion can be evoked simply by paring things
down to the basics. As a result, the beautiful ballads “Deep Dark Wells,” “One
of Many” and “A Gentle Few” speak volumes by trumpeting little more than acoustic
guitar and quiet fortitude. Pug shows great promise, and with The Great
Despiser, it’s all that much closer to being assured.
DOWNLOAD: “Deep Dark Wells,” “One of
Many,” “A Gentle Few” LEE ZIMMERMAN