John Dufilho

Record review

Texas Platters

John Dufilho

I Remain, as Always, a Rabble Rouser From the Mountains (Glurp)

In the wake of the Deathray Davies' standout The Kick and the Snare earlier this year, frontman John Dufilho's solo debut comes off as an Odelay-to-Mutations transition piece. From its lugubrious title on down, Rabble Rouser is an exercise in softly focused bedroom pop with a deliberately unfinished air and its own tentative brand of charm. Sparse, acoustic opener "I'm Gonna Stay Under These Covers Today" nails the paralyzing wooze of a rainy Sunday morning and might just as well be Dufilho's mission statement here. "Now I'm a Stick Figure" sounds like the potential beginning of a grand pop statement that Dufilho decided was more effective as a two-minute snapshot. The album's midsection dives headlong into creative diffusion as exemplified by "I Can Be Nothing but Trouble," which is 19 seconds of Dufilho repeating the title in a whispered cadence. By contrast, the harrowing string arrangement immediately following on "Check the Engine" is the album's most ambitious moment. Instead of looking for pop-minded cohesion, the best way to hear Rabble Rouser is as a behind-the-curtain glimpse at a ravenous songwriter working without a net.

**.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Greg Beets
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle