Kurt Vile - Childish Prodigy 12"
Don't judge a book by its cover. Kurt Vile's long-haired hippie appearance may suggest West Coast roots -- even though he's actually a Philadelphian -- but his sound comes straight out of the underbelly of the Big Apple. With a slack-singing style reminiscent of Lou Reed or Alan Vega, and his vocals doused in slap-back reverb, the songs on Childish Prodigy shift between gritty numbers driven by guitar fuzz and steady ballads backed by one-key baritone drones. If this sounds a bit derivative of the Velvets, well, it is and it isn't. Childish Prodigy is split between drunken caterwauling and quiet hangover-recovery sessions, and both sides of the spectrum are fantastic. The band's spirit is captured perfectly, courtesy of Jeff Zeiglar's open-sounding recording style, and the indie underground rarely seems this fresh and free.