In the Dark
Athens, Georgia’s Whigs perform ‘80s-‘90s college radio rock with an ‘00s twist of the production knobs. Animal Collective producer Ben Allen expands the band’s sonic width, making the guitars churn with an arena-rock scope and swamping the lead vocals in layers of echo, while the actual riffs come as ragged and right as Paul Westerberg and the Replacements. The harmonies recall the refined mystical pop of early R.E.M., who they may or may not be replying to in the captivating “I Don’t Even Care About The One I Love.” “Hundred / Million” kicks things off with an industrial edge to the band’s jungle trudge. “Kill Me Carolyne” features a chiming guitar battle. “I Am for Real” takes their nearly dissonant guitar riffs and set them to a dance groove. Singer-guitarist Parker Gispert has a lot of old school rock ‘n’ roll in his heart and it comes blazing through the cool slink of “Automatic” and the chant-like mantra of the title track.