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Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg (Mercury)

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., March 15, 2013

SXSW 2013 Records

Jake Bugg

(Mercury)

"Lightning Bolt" serves as an apt opener for Jake Bugg's eponymous debut LP, which has already garnered the UK 18-year-old wide acclaim. Its raw electric garage folk sparks a refreshing energy and authenticity that carries into the reckless lilt and stomp of "Two Fingers" and "Taste It," and the winding youthful delinquency of "Seen It All." Bugg's gritty twang recalls the Tallest Man on Earth, especially on tenderer turns like "Simple as This," "Country Song," and "Broken." Small-town blues burst at the seams of Bugg's songs, but he reacts to the restlessness with an impressive sense of detail and narrative shot in concise tunes "Trouble Town" and "Ballad of Mr. Jones." While the more personally wrangled writing on "Someone Told Me," "Note to Self," and "Someplace" still show room for growth amid their sentimentality, even the lesser among these offers exceptional promise. (12mid, Maggie Mae's Rooftop)

***.5

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