The Whigs: In the Dark CD review (Shockhound)

(4 out of 5)

For their third album, Athens-based rockers the Whigs have taken the somewhat unusual – though totally welcome – step of loosening up and dumbing down. While many bands (especially contemporary rockers) feel the need to begin making some Very Important Musical Statement on or about their third release, the Whigs have counter-intuitively gone and made IN THE DARK a visceral and violent-sounding disc. Having settled on a concise and uncompromising interpretation of classic American rock n’ roll, the Whigs are still fully possessed of the hooks-and-riffs vibe that’s made their songwriting so appealing; but for the most part, IN THE DARK sidesteps some of the trio’s more lachrymose tendencies. Although “Automatic” finds the band dabbling a bit too much with the bland sound of late-period Replacements, that’s one of the only real weak moments on IN THE DARK, and it’s only weak in comparison to the utterly bruising and burly rock power evidenced on a cut like “Someone’s Daughter,” which is heavy in nearly every sense of the word. That fiery heaviness rears its head throughout the album, whether on the opening fusillade of “Hundred/Million,” the sad-with-a-vengeance catharsis of “So Lonely” and even the twangy and somewhat long-winded closer, “Naked.”

First  appeared March 16, 2010 at Shockhound.com.

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