In The Dark
Call it power pop or indie rock or neo-garage or whatever you want, The Whigs are playing music and having fun with it. Reminiscent of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Kings of Leon, with lively songs that keep your attention, the band pulls you in from the first track and doesn’t let go until the album fades out. “Hundred/Million” kick starts In the Dark with distortion and fuzz as a signpost of what is to come. After listening to “Kill Me Carolyne” I had to wonder why The Whigs are not playing on every contemporary rock radio station across the country. Their guitars crunch and the drums thunder just enough to get your attention, but not enough to scare radio-friendly program directors.
While some of the tracks are a bit over-produced, this album keeps a raw enough edge to set itself apart from the pack. Just as potent is the reflective “Someone’s Daughter,” where vocalist Parker Gispert really shines. “Naked” closes out the album with a minute-and-a-half instrumental intro showcasing Gispert’s guitar, Tim Deaux’s bass, and Julian Dorio’s layered drums, that proceeds to alternate between soft-spoken verses and full-rocking choruses evocative of Springsteen and John Fogerty. “Dying” is one of those over-produced tracks. I’m not sure what they were going for here, but the end product feels muddled. Likewise, “I Don’t Even Care About the One I Love” veers too far into pop territory and drowns under the weight of its chorus without much lyrical support. However, the title track takes a similar path, and wound up being one of my favorites, so I applaud the band taking chances.
The Whigs have an interesting sound. Not wholly original, but a unique blend of several genres and regions that takes some chances and results in a strong overall album. If you like Jimmy Eat World or The Strokes, but wish they had a little more bite, give In The Dark a listen.
The Whigs: www.thewhigs.com