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the whigs

The Whigs – “Rock and Roll Forever”

 

Pairs Well With…The Foo Fighters, Weezer, The Who

 

2013 OEB top pick The Whigs have booked SXSW once again, still heavy on the touring circuit behind 2012’s excellent Enjoy The Company.  Taking the opportunity to reengage the record has proven the power in The Whigs’ rock and roll songwriting with a particular, mature mastery.  Is something new on the way?  Hopefully soon, but no studio updates have surfaces and the road continues on for The Whigs in the early part of 2014.

2013 Review: Though The Whigs have been gigging for over a decade, this is actually my first time giving the Athens, GA rock band their fair shake.  I’ve had my ear out for a great rock band these last few sets and have commonly come up short.  The Whigs break the pattern wonderfully as I’m listening through 2012’s excellent Enjoy The Company.  In one way, The Whigs are a tight power pop band full of precise melodies and fist-pumping choruses.  The true art of what The Whigs accomplish is how much they pay attention to just plain rocking.  Songs like “Gospel” and “Waiting” exhibit a tied-in rhythm section that is often overlooked with bands focusing on instrumental dynamics so much these last couple of years.  That aside, it’s worth mentioning the epic “Staying Alive”, a mini-rock opera that sounds like this year’s “A Quick One That Got Away”.

SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 40

I needed to take this morning’s set down to seven artists since this one is fully stacked with spotlight artists.  Folk, rock, pop…we got it all with the 40th grouping of the year.  Highlights:

The Whigs (9) - Taking the opportunity to reengage the record proves the power in The Whigs’ rock and roll songwriting with a particular mature mastery.
The Wilderness of Manitoba (8) - I’ve been warming up to The Wilderness of Manitoba’s serious and tender take on the folk genre.  It makes sense – The Wilderness of Manitoba takes their time, pacing Americana-spirited ballads with an expert’s detail.
Wild Party (8) - “Take My Advice” could fit along with fun.’s latest hit tracks with it’s dramatic vocal hooks, while “Walkin” and “When I Get Older” are more rhythmically driven, toe-tapping and handclaps are mandatory fare here.
Jack Wilson (8) - It’s a really rich listen and at times moves into a post-rock atmosphere, best shown in the build of the title track, going as far to use some Floydian found sounds that adds further to the personal nature of this underappreciated folk gem.
The Wild Wild (7) - The Wild Wild have released a total of 20 seconds of stealthfully recorded studio coverage, so it’s a little hard to write about them, but I can’t lie, I liked what I heard in these few brief moments.
Wolf Alice (6) – Harkening back to the great women-led bands of the 90s grunge movement, Wolf Alice are all about loose and passionate hooks, reverb to the moon.  There are some detours as well – key track “Blush” is an emotional slow burner that builds along with minimal post rock influences.

SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 40


I needed to take this morning’s set down to seven artists since this one is fully stacked with spotlight artists.  Folk, rock, pop…we got it all with the 40th grouping of the year.  Highlights:


The Whigs (9) - Taking the opportunity to reengage the record proves the power in The Whigs’ rock and roll songwriting with a particular mature mastery.

The Wilderness of Manitoba (8) - I’ve been warming up to The Wilderness of Manitoba’s serious and tender take on the folk genre.  It makes sense – The Wilderness of Manitoba takes their time, pacing Americana-spirited ballads with an expert’s detail.

Wild Party (8) - “Take My Advice” could fit along with fun.’s latest hit tracks with it’s dramatic vocal hooks, while “Walkin” and “When I Get Older” are more rhythmically driven, toe-tapping and handclaps are mandatory fare here.

Jack Wilson (8) - It’s a really rich listen and at times moves into a post-rock atmosphere, best shown in the build of the title track, going as far to use some Floydian found sounds that adds further to the personal nature of this underappreciated folk gem.

The Wild Wild (7) - The Wild Wild have released a total of 20 seconds of stealthfully recorded studio coverage, so it’s a little hard to write about them, but I can’t lie, I liked what I heard in these few brief moments.

Wolf Alice (6) – Harkening back to the great women-led bands of the 90s grunge movement, Wolf Alice are all about loose and passionate hooks, reverb to the moon.  There are some detours as well – key track “Blush” is an emotional slow burner that builds along with minimal post rock influences.

The Whigs – “Waiting”

 

Pairs Well With…The Foo Fighters, Weezer, The Who

 

Though The Whigs have been gigging for over a decade, this is actually my first time giving the Athens, GA rock band their fair shake.  I’ve had my ear out for a great rock band these last few sets and have commonly come up short.  The Whigs break the pattern wonderfully as I’m listening through 2012’s excellent Enjoy The Company.  In one way, The Whigs are a tight power pop band full of precise melodies and fist-pumping choruses.  The true art of what The Whigs accomplish is how much they pay attention to just plain rocking.  Songs like “Gospel” and “Waiting” exhibit a tied-in rhythm section that is often overlooked with bands focusing on instrumental dynamics so much these last couple of years.  That aside, it’s worth mentioning the epic “Staying Alive”, a mini-rock opera that sounds like this year’s “A Quick One That Got Away”.

SXSW 2013 Spreadsheet 56:

Both new acts and returning OEB favorites make up this latest set, with eight bands scoring a “5” or above.  Highlights:

The Whigs (10) - Songs like “Gospel” and “Waiting” exhibit a tied-in rhythm section that is often overlooked with bands focusing on instrumental dynamics so much these last couple of years.
Wildcat! Wildcat! (9) - This isn’t quite radio-friendly material, rather Wildcat! Wildcat! focuses on inventive melodies and diversions with an experimental eye towards songwriting.
Whitehorse (8) - The vocal back-and-forth they display on tracks like “Mismatched Eyes” and “Achilles’ Desire” is enchanting, an interplay that continues musically throughout the bluesy record.
Wild Child (8) - On the opposite side, Wild Child has a, well, wild side to them.  “The Tale of You & Me” builds into a rambunctious sing-a-long, like Edward Sharpe for a woodsier crowd.
Wheeler Brothers (6) – Austin’s Wheeler Brothers are a passionate outfit, which is displayed through raucous acoustic strums and soul-searching vocals on their 2011 LP.  Their strongest track is the laid back “Portraits”, which sounds to be an updated take on “Friend of the Devil”.
The Wellspring (5) – Indie folk pop duo The Wellspring have ‘mainstream’ written all over them, so look for some breakout potential at SXSW.  The band aims for sugary melodies with a soft rock edge, but there’s tenderness to their songwriting and vocals that warrants a mention.
Wet Nuns (5) – Musically, I’m really digging on Wet Nuns’ heavy, pounding blues-rock riffs.  Their vocalist knowingly screams through his lyrics, which surprisingly doesn’t really mesh well with the loose grooves of the band.
White Violet (5) - Athens, Georgia indie rock band White Violet sounds like a gritty, dark version of Wilco on their latest record Hiding, Mingling.  Most of the tracks hit at most a mid-tempo beat, creating a sadness that resides over the whole album.

SXSW 2013 Spreadsheet 56:


Both new acts and returning OEB favorites make up this latest set, with eight bands scoring a “5” or above.  Highlights:


The Whigs (10) - Songs like “Gospel” and “Waiting” exhibit a tied-in rhythm section that is often overlooked with bands focusing on instrumental dynamics so much these last couple of years.

Wildcat! Wildcat! (9) - This isn’t quite radio-friendly material, rather Wildcat! Wildcat! focuses on inventive melodies and diversions with an experimental eye towards songwriting.

Whitehorse (8) - The vocal back-and-forth they display on tracks like “Mismatched Eyes” and “Achilles’ Desire” is enchanting, an interplay that continues musically throughout the bluesy record.

Wild Child (8) - On the opposite side, Wild Child has a, well, wild side to them.  “The Tale of You & Me” builds into a rambunctious sing-a-long, like Edward Sharpe for a woodsier crowd.

Wheeler Brothers (6) – Austin’s Wheeler Brothers are a passionate outfit, which is displayed through raucous acoustic strums and soul-searching vocals on their 2011 LP.  Their strongest track is the laid back “Portraits”, which sounds to be an updated take on “Friend of the Devil”.

The Wellspring (5) – Indie folk pop duo The Wellspring have ‘mainstream’ written all over them, so look for some breakout potential at SXSW.  The band aims for sugary melodies with a soft rock edge, but there’s tenderness to their songwriting and vocals that warrants a mention.

Wet Nuns (5) – Musically, I’m really digging on Wet Nuns’ heavy, pounding blues-rock riffs.  Their vocalist knowingly screams through his lyrics, which surprisingly doesn’t really mesh well with the loose grooves of the band.

White Violet (5) - Athens, Georgia indie rock band White Violet sounds like a gritty, dark version of Wilco on their latest record Hiding, Mingling.  Most of the tracks hit at most a mid-tempo beat, creating a sadness that resides over the whole album.