Getting Whiggy With It…Two Times.
9/17/08- The Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa, CA
9/20/08- San Diego Street Scene
Parker Gispert has a thick, throaty growl with a touch of country; Tim Deaux is a mutton-chopped bass player light on his feet; Julian Dorio is a fiercely powerful frenzy with sticks in his hands….all of the individual parts equal an impressive musical whole born of Athens, GA called The Whigs. And, no, their name is not a derivative of The Afghan Whigs. That’s straight from the mouth of babes…or the mouth of drummer.
Think some of the best stuff that has come by way of quality college radio; under the radar and bursting at the gills with raucousness and healthy, noisy guitars.
Think southern rock that you actually don’t mind constantly exploding out of the garage three houses down from you. You only wish that they’d invite you over for a beer and a jam session.
Think well constructed hooks, crashing melodic noise, pop-friendly but drowning in rock riffs.
Think this is good stuff.
The Whigs are young and talented and hitting on all cylinders and I get the feeling that this is their time to show the uninformed what driven youth and young manhood can bring to a stage.
Did you catch that segue? It’ll come in handy later.
Both sets showcased some of the band’s meatiest and tightest pieces of work from their 2008 release “Mission Control” and “Give ‘Em All A Big Fat Lip” from 2005: “Like A Vibration”, “OK Alright”, “Hot Bed”, “Already Young”, “Right Hand On My Heart”. Throughout their set, it’s a revelation to hear Gispert vocally navigate the songs from gentle honey tones to outright howls that come from God knows where. Although I do worry when he attempts to swallow the microphone.
Both shows opened with the swaying title track “Mission Control” (the drums, alone, make it a car-worthy album. Turn it up.) and upped the rock factor by 10 and left it there throughout, only (barely) cooling things down long enough to allow Tim to shine (and I do mean shine) on guitar and Parker on keyboards for“Half The World Away”. There are enough Southern touches that honor where they come from but the proof is in the heft of their weighty, solid beats, jumpy bass and rangy guitar and their ability to sink themselves into your ear. Chorus, hook, line and you are sunk.
The Detroit Bar and San Diego Street Scene crowds both approved of what they saw and heard and, at the end of both sets, people asked me the name of the band which is always a good sign. That’s because this is good stuff. Does it matter that they’re signed to Dave Matthews’ label? Absolutely not, at least not to me. What matters is that they’re signed and have the opportunity to expand their craft and blow people away on stages across the country.