Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring for My Halo (2011)


(Matador)

!!!!! AVOID !!!!!

Boooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiinnnnnnng.

I'd like to leave it at that, but in the interest of being at least kind of informative: This is the sort of thing your dad listened to while he worked on stuff in the garage. The sort of music that comes on the incessantly blaring adult contemporary station that hasn't added anything to its rotation since 1992, in brief intervals between seventeen hours a day of car commercials. The sort of miserable music you hear in your part-time job, or anywhere you're stuck when you can't wait to be somewhere else, that makes you want to kill yourself. The sort of music that used to disgust people enough to drive them to create and listen to college rock, but no more now that it's lapped itself.

Everybody says Vile is in the tradition of Bob Seger and Tom Petty, and I'll add Don Henley who is the only person I can think about during neverending slogs like "Society Is My Friend." If we're approaching that palette in an ironic sense, I can't see what makes Vile any better than those ridiculously overrated, generic MOR staples. But if we're operating from the perspective that sounding like Tom Petty is something to strive for, I begrudgingly admit that I just don't "understand." Still, put this on in bar jukeboxes where it belongs, not on a label with Yo La Tengo and Fucked Up. I tentatively supported the snowballing of icky influences for the sake of chillwave or whatnot, but I give up now. Please. Stop. Now.

For fuck's sake, if you want a bleak oppressive atmosphere, buy PJ Harvey's new record, which is brilliant and enriching and will stimulate you. Not this dishwater barf.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound cranky, just... ew. Ew, ew, ew.

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