Bored in the Garage
The Whigs are an Athens-based garage rock band that attempt to reinvigorate their sub-genre by keeping things simple; they demonstrate that a band needs little more than a guitar, a bass and a drum set to blow out both windows and speakers. The group has certainly gotten out on the road since their 2002 formation, touring with more well-known outfits like The Black Keys and the Drive-By Truckers, while having appeared on various late-night television shows and building up significant clout among rock revival enthusiasts.
Their newest album, Modern Creation, sticks to this same script and sounds very similar to the band’s last four albums, both instrumentally and lyrically. While it is necessary for a band to create a distinctive sound, Modern Creation eschews its title’s meaning and sounds like a 2005 creation, mainly echoing the same musical ideas of the band’s first release, Give ‘Em All a Big Fat Lip. Understanding the portfolio of The Whigs and the fan base they’ve built up since the release of In the Dark (which featured production from Ben Allen, notable for his work on Animal Collective’s record Merriweather Post Pavilion), their newest release comes across as a failed opportunity to reinvent their sound and explore the unexpected. Instead, Modern Creation sounds bland, uninspired and like it’s been done before by the very same band that’s releasing it.
Overall, if you’re listening to Modern Creation without any background on the band’s past, it sounds like run-of-the-mill garage rock, but understanding The Whigs’ history and previous releases, it becomes difficult to give this album a favorable review.