ACL Fest Sunday Reviews

ACL Fest Sunday Reviews

Xavier Rudd

Dark Shades of Blue (Anti-)

Surrounding himself with an array of didgeridoos, Weissenborn slide guitars, percussion, and myriad other instruments, Australia's Xavier Rudd has become a fixture of the jam-band circuit since his 2004 U.S. debut, Solace, balancing easy acoustic tunes with elaborate jams. Yet as the title of his sixth album suggests, Dark Shades of Blue is a much heavier and more intensely textured affair. Propelled by Tool and Queens of the Stone Age producer Joe Barresi, Rudd unloads electric guitar into his dense world rhythms and indigenous influences, creating epic soundscapes such as "Shiver" and "Uncle" that quake and surge with a rock backbone. Opener "Black Water" sets the tone with bruising riffs and dark didgeridoo hum that push forcefully into the title track, and even the reggae bent of "Secrets" and "Edge of the Moon" are cut with a slightly ominous edge. Though the eclectic elements don't always meld, they never fail to entrance. (4pm, WaMu stage.)

***

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