Kurt Vile & the Violators
ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Richard Whittaker, Fri., Sept. 23, 2011
Kurt Vile & the ViolatorsZilker Park, Sept. 16
"I feel like a schizophrenic with all this music going around," the Vile One mumbled from beneath his drooping mane, trying to wish away Beardyman's beats from the BMI stage. The soundboard countered by overdriving the hypnotic acoustic roll of "Blackberry Song." The distracted set was ultimately tailed by "Freak Train," its sax and drum machine squall mangled into chaotic discord, but in between, Vile & his Violators fought back. Ditch the Springsteen comparisons: "Jesus Fever" tagged them as a Western-tinged Dinosaur Jr., Vile's cracking drone half-prairie dust, half-J Mascis. While he mostly kept to clean picking, Jesse Trbovich brought some scream and slide to his six-string, twisting the psych knife in the heart of "Hunchback"'s scuzzed-up, slowed-down boogie before converting "Smoke Ring for My Halo" from a soundtrack for sunsets into raw highway blues.