Friday, 16 December 2011

Challenging The Snobbery Inversion Index - Kurt Vile "Smoke Ring"

This album has been out for months. I've been reading about it for months. Now the end of year blog lists are spitting out their tempus fugit venom and Kurt Vile is being rubbed in my face again.

I can't really tell you why I've avoided it so hard. It's given me a real sense of the hole between those empty kind of words like hipster and some such. I don't know. Black and white photos - I don't know. A very real mistrust.
But I perused Piccadilly Records' Top 100 Albums of the Year this afternoon and I saw it was #2. It had also rated highly on The Quietus business. And no doubt a million other places. I saw the time had come to listen to the thing. Maybe I was worried it would be too cool. That I wouldn't be able to read the signals.

I shouldn't have worried about that.

This is one classy chassis of an album. I'm a few tracks in on my first listen and I like it. It has that feeling that a lot of gems from my own particular Golden Age of That There Indie had. It sounds detached from the blogosphere and emits the whiff of sixth form common rooms and living, breathing record shops. And posters when posters might have been the only way to obtain an enduring image of a hero.

And the guitar's a beautiful, rolling wash. A sweet distorted buzz. And tunes that sound like they've shuffled out of bed after a great party and greater, forgotten dreams. "On Tour" is just majestic and it's how I'd love to imagine being on tour might feel like, if you were on tour with harps. Far less likely to murder anyone if I was within this music.

And there's serious hair on the lad. Vagaries of fashion seem to trouble him not. Or maybe they do and I can't recognise them. Some wobbly Valentines-like noises. A touch of the Mascis or the Michael Hegarty. Fucked if I know the genealogy of what Kurt's been listening to. I was just concerned his name might have been a bit P.U.N.K. R.O.C.K.

Effortless and big anyway. I've not even finished listening to it properly yet and I'm looking forward to the rest of it. Those Top 2011 lists were right. Jam them to Hades.

Rating: Listened Anyway out of Spite.

No comments: