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Josh Small (Pop Faction)

Reviewed by Erick Mertz

Josh Small has something very few people have, and that is the wry ability to curse and admonish throughout his self-titled album, and without the slightest bit of irony. Drunkenness and debauched mind sets so often sound glib and forced; perhaps so, but not with Small, not at all. He tells an unfortunate girl on "Pushing Boulders" that he really didn't like how she looked on some bygone day; the song "Fall Motherfuckers Fall" is built on an unsavory sentiment spun in the face of all comers.

Josh's diminutive moniker might beg an image that is belied by a big mouth.

Small's sound on this record is just that: small. Its recordings are often constructed of banjo, slide guitar and mandolin - all instruments played by Small, with Duncan Adams providing harmony. It's a formula that sheds everything save for the necessary, and one of those needs is a sense of bile and disgust that a bigger sound would all but undermine the meaning of.

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© 2005 - Erick Mertz