September 3rd, 2008 Chandler Fredrick | Special Section Stories
 

The Whigs

Midnight Thursday, Dante’s

     
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[SOUTHERN POST-PUNK] You can take the indie-rock band out of the college town, but you can’t take the college town out of the indie-rock band. For Athens, Ga., trio the Whigs (whose historically charged name is instilled with a multiplicity of rebellious partisan meanings), this may be one of the biggest paradoxes. On the one hand, the band has had something of a fratty beginning: Shortly after recording its first full-length album, 2005’s Give ’Em All a Big Fat Lip, in an empty fraternity house, the band caught the attention of ra-ra rock god Dave Matthews—who signed it to his ATO label. On the other hand, the Whigs’ rebellious lyrics about dejection and hopeless apathy seem to be anything but the poetry of bummed-out, beered-out bros. The band pulls off an unconventional combination of blues-bar band vocals with driving punk beats and the black, oily smudge of Mission of Burma’s best guitar lines. With the hubbub the Whigs have been garnering with their latest release, Mission Control, it seems an awful long time ago that Rolling Stone called them “America’s Best Unsigned Band.”

 
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