Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Their Time Has Arrived...Prepare to Take Orders From

MISSION CONTROL - THE WHIGS

It’s a shame that the written word does not come with volume controls, else I’d ask that you adjust the output to the maximum and keep this review on loop. This album is meant to be heard loud and proud. Never mind what the neighbors might say; tell that old man that you don’t care ‘cause this is rock ‘n roll and you’re Already Young!
Mission Control is not a good follow up to Fat Lip; it’s something much more than that. It marks a solid advancement for the band in technique, delivery, earnestness, direction and craftsmanship. In other words, it flat out rocks without hesitation. The Whigs personify the American Dream of rockers. They’re the college band you liked and knew had ample potential but likely would fizzle out after graduation. Instead The Whigs are forging on, piling in the van, and becoming road warriors in the truest since. I’m sure it wasn’t all a dream come true, but it did do wonders to hone their skills and drive them towards pop-rock perfectionists…with strained emphasis on rock.
I have been streaming some of these tracks for months now and caught a few of them live as well, some hit me right away and I thought the new album was going to be good. What I did not realize was that I was doing the band and myself a grave disservice by playing their music over computer speakers…that was just rude of me. Not to say that this band doesn’t pack a wallop on their own, but it’s rewarding to the utmost to hear them with the production quality they deserve. The Whigs have officially found themselves and they sound fantastic. (Can’t wait until they get a budget that allows them to take a horn section on the road with them).
When buzz of the new album first hit, Like a Vibration became the early lead off song. It’s a solid song, a perfect first track and staple to their live show. But it doesn’t define The Whigs new sound. That hits when Production City blows away any preconceived notions that this band’s sound may lack in musical evolution. With a jaunty, Clash-like bass line this song is a refreshing jolt and in many ways the most rewarding song on the album. It fully demonstrates the band’s range and willingness to strip down their sound and attack every song as though it was the first they’d ever written. As a fan I’d like to think that bodes well for things to come. From there they ramble along through sharp, passionate, well-versed tracks, such as my new favorite, Right Hand on My Heart. The trouble with a band that only has three members is that it can be difficult to create a gelled sound, especially when your drummer makes Keith Moon look like a sissy and your lead man belts out scratchy vocals that could make Eddie Vedder wish he were back in a high school punk outfit. Not the case here. This album highlights the abilities of all three members and presents it in a balanced, well-executed explosion to the eardrums.
There’s no fluff here to mention of. Hot Bed, Need You Need You…these are tight, dirty tracks that ooze southern gravy onto your shirt leaving you a sloppy mess but salivating for a second helping of the goodness. Sleep Sunshine visits the stammer and diction of Radiohead's Wolf at the Door. Already Young rips through your speakers opening like an early forgotten Soundgarden riff and then flows into that signature sound of highs and lows that bleed together with heavy reverb and rolling drum work that screams The Whigs.
If I have one qualm with this album it is that it makes Fat Lip sound like some low budget release that some guys that were in college with you made in an empty fraternity house…I mean this in the best possible way.
Can’t wait to see these guys when they come to the Queen City in a few. For those of you who have the fortune of being at the Atlanta show with Wax Fang…I hate you.

It’s two scrambled eggs swimming in grease, hash all the way dripping off an unwashed plate, buttered and peppered grits, two slices of burnt toast and a replenishing supply of tap water. Fast, friendly service and no waiting around for the check at the end of the meal, the perfect cure to a hangover worthy of the night before.
Check out the new site: The Whigs

2 comments:

Alex said...

Good article, I've always liked that band.

btw, saw a typo that thought you might want to correct:

"Instead they forged on, piled in the van and became road warriors in the truest since."

Keep up the good work.

m. jejune said...

I saw them last Friday at the 40 Watt. It was a really good show, despite the fact that for some reason some of the patrons decided to crowd surf. I thought that I had mistakenly walked into a circa 1996 Local H concert.