CD Review: The Whigs

In the Dark (ATO)

It's not easy living up to hype, and the Whigs got plenty early on. After the Georgia trio self-recorded and independently released its 2005 debut, Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip, it was called one of the best unsigned bands in America. They then snagged high-profile opening slots for Kings of Leon and Drive-By Truckers, further raising expectations. On their third album, In the Dark, the Whigs sound ready to live up to them. "Hundred/Million" shreds like vintage My Bloody Valentine, "Black Lotus" and "Automatic" bounce and brood with the pop power of a Supergrass/World Party summit, and "Kill Me Carolyne" blazes with an intensity that equals anything Kings of Leon have charted in the past year. The Whigs' range is best exemplified by the marriage of pop melodicism and blisteringly heavy rock on "Someone's Daughter" and the Southern soul/pop swing of "I Don't Even Care About the One I Love." In the Dark suggests that the Whigs are one of America's best bands right now. — Brian Baker

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