Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg

by Lawrence Poole Rating:8.5 Release Date:2012-10-15

First: VESTED INTEREST ALERT! As fellow Nottinghamian, I've been awaiting the arrival of a serious player on the British music scene from my home town since, well, I was Mr Bugg's age. Despite being home to one of the country's leading live venues, Rock City, and a plethora of smaller, more organic ones to boot (The Social, Rescue Rooms, The Maze etc), the city has never really left a firm footprint in music history.

There have been underground stalwarts of course (The Tindersticks) and hyped up near misses (Six By Seven), but nobody has ever quite grabbed the national consciousness by the scruff of the neck and demanded to be listened to. That could all be about to change. After high-profile support slots with Noel Gallagher and The Stone Roses plus inadvertently soundtracking Usain Bolt's success at London 2012 with Lightning Bolt, it's been quite a summer for this 18-year-old.

Hailing from the sprawling south Nottingham estate of Clifton, Bugg's tales of adolescent high jinks, spats at home and burgeoning love are a breath of fresh air for a music business increasingly reliant on Pro Tools.
The teenager troubadour's passion for all things Donovan, Dylan and even Don McLean has seen him put a new spin on the age-old, folk-tinged rock n roll pioneered in the early 1960s.

Racking up at an impressive 14 tracks, I did worry he may have over-egged the pudding a bit with his debut, but Bugg is not one to underestimate. As first offerings go, there is relatively little fat. The aforementioned 'Lightning Bolt' kicks things off in suitably frenetic fashion, while the glorious ode to teenage realisation, 'Two Fingers' and the spiky 'Taste It' follow. Bugg then displays his impressive maturity on the lush 'Seen It All', Coral-esque 'Simple As That' and carefree 'Country Song'. Elsewhere, 'Trouble Town', documents the perennial problems of growing up on a council estate and 'Note to Self' urges caution over a romantic dalliance.

Understandably for one so young, some of the musicianship and wordplay is sketchy and naive, but what undeniably shines through is Bugg's intuitive knack for penning an engaging melody and telling a story.
Only just an adult, it will be exciting to watch where he goes from here.

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