the Whigs

Enjoy the Company (New West)

ACL Music Fest Saturday Reviews

The Whigs

Enjoy the Company (New West)

In 2006, Rolling Stone named them one of "10 Artists To Watch." The Whigs haven't risen to unsung heights in the ensuing years, but the Athens, Ga., trio continues making big, noteworthy noise. With Enjoy the Company, their fourth overall and first for New West, the Whigs continue straddling a line between what can only be called grunge and melodic guitar pop. In fact, the first two tracks exemplify the dichotomy in the band's sound. The sprawling "Staying Alive" starts out sunny, gets a jolt of horns, then dissolves into a Sonic Youth-like roar before coming back down to earth. "Gospel," meanwhile – all jangle and sunshine – suggests mid-period R.E.M. Lyrically naive at times ("Rock and Roll Forever"), guitarist and singer Parker Gispert locks his strum and wail to the chunk-a-funk drums of Julian Dorio to make Whigs rock worth hearing. (2pm, AMD stage)

***

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