Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Sept. 23, 2011
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.Zilker Park, Sept. 18
For a band whose debut showed as much promise as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s It's a Corporate World, it was disappointing how much the band fell back on gimmicks to rally the early Sunday afternoon ACL crowd. Between the hometown Longhorn shout-out, the Popsicle throw-outs, and three divergent covers (the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," Leonard Cohen's "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye," and Steve Winwood's "Higher Love"), the Detroit trio left no pandering stone unturned. Which was all a bit unnecessary, as the band's blend of electro-glitchery and tight pop contortions is both compelling and eclectic. Opener "Morning Thought" skittered with an Animal Collective-ish flow, and "Simple Girl" lilted an easy 1960s pop touch, while "Vocal Chords" surged mellow harmonies and "We Almost Lost Detroit" destroyed with a killer, gritty groove. DEJJ is a band worth taking seriously, whether they themselves do so or not.