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The Whigs ¤ Enjoy The Company (2012)

The Whigs ¤ Enjoy The Company (2012)

                          The Whigs — Enjoy The Company
Location: Athens, Georgia, U.S.
Album release: September 18, 2012
Recorded: Woodstock, N.Y.
Record Label: New West Records
Duration:     36:19
01 Staying Alive     8:16
02 Gospel     2:39
03 Tiny Treasures     2:33
04 Summer Heat     2:43
05 After Dark     4:00
06 Waiting     3:33
07 Couple Of Kids     3:14
08 Thank You     2:17
09 Rock And Roll Forever     2:49
10 Ours     4:15
»      Julian Dorio
»      Parker Gispert
»      Timothy Deaux
Website: http://www.thewhigs.com/news
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thewhigs
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thewhigs
Press contact: steven@bighassle.com
Reservé agent: mmorgan@caa.com
Main manager: mallen@c3mgmt.com
          With their new album Enjoy The Company, The Whigs have created a raucous ode to rock and roll. From the opening track, an exhilarating eight~minute mission statement called “Staying Alive,” the record offers a powerful sonic rendering of a band opening up to the depth of their past and kicking open the doors to their future. But most of all, this is the undeniably established sound of a band affirming their legacy in the American rock and roll paradigm.
          While The Whigs recorded their second record Mission Control at famed Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood and their third release In The Dark in Athens, the making of Enjoy The Company was a dramatically different affair. This time the group sought the guidance of veteran producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr, Son Volt, Sonic Youth) and the solitude of Dreamland Studios housed in a historic church in rural Woodstock, New York. “We went out there to record without any distractions,” bassist Timothy Deaux explains. “There were no girlfriends there, no bars to go out to. It was just us and the music. Our last album focused on some pretty dark themes and with this one I think there’s a newfound sense of optimism and purpose. We didn’t make a sugary record, but I think we are honestly feeling good about the band and our lives and it comes across in the sound.”
          As a result, The Whigs latest features ten tracks of pure celebratory rock and roll fueled by the rhythms of the road, the classic albums that inspired them and nights spent together on stage. “When we’re out there driving from show to show, that’s my favorite time to get new song ideas,” Gispert says. “And the tracks we eventually picked for the album are the ones that we love playing live.”
          The song “Gospel” mines a joyous guitar hook for a timeless FM radio feel while another track “Rock And Roll Forever” is a spirited hard riffing love letter to the power of primal rock. And after opening with the impassioned declaration of resilience in “Staying Alive,” the record perfectly bookends with an equally ardent proclamation entitled “Ours.” The song begins with reflective vocals over a lone guitar. Then, like some lost track from a beloved vinyl classic, the music builds, drums exploding accompanied by a volley of power chords. “That song was written about a child whose parents were teaching him how to share,” Gispert explains. “It’s not mine or yours, but ours. Our band, our music — it’s open to anybody.”

                                                                               © In the Dark
Release date: March 16, 2010
Duration:     41:31
Ben H. Allen  Mixing, Producer
Scott Clayton  Booking
Timothy Deaux  Composer, Group Member
Julian Dorio  Composer, Group Member
Robert Gardner  Engineer, Mixing Assistant
Parker Gispert  Composer, Group Member
Jason Hall  Engineer
Jay Joyce  Engineer, Mixing, Producer
Paul Logus  Mastering
Andy McGrath  A&R
Matt Morgan  Booking
Jordan Noel  Art Direction, Photography
Angelo Petraglia  Composer, Producer
Buster Phillips  Booking
Josh Rifkind  Management
Joshua V. Smith  Assistant Engineer
Kyle Spence  Engineer
Steven Trachtenbroit  Publicity
Marlene Tsuchii  Booking
Drew Vandenberg  Engineer
Matt Wheeler  Assistant Engineer
Review  by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
          Continuing their trek through the alt~rock battlefield of the ‘90s, the Whigs reach the glory years of post~grunge on their third album, In the Dark. Pumped up with muscular guitars and buffed to a high gloss by producer Ben Allen, who manages to pull a U~turn from his work with Animal Collective, In the Dark is the best album the Foo Fighters never made, with heavy guitars edged out by heavy hooks. Any traces of lingering indie affectations are sanded out — somewhat ironically so given the presence of Allen, who gives them a veneer that would guarantee them modern rock radio play if such a thing still existed in 2010 — replaced by a smooth melodic assurance, yet it’s not so beholden to the past to sound stiff. the Whigs absorbed every rock trend of the ‘90s, consciously taking in the cool stuff while the mainstream tunes seeped in, and here they turn In the Dark into something that’s a guilty pleasure for anyone raised on grunge.                                                                     © Mission Control
Release date: January 22, 2008
          Chris Bilheimer  Art Direction
          Ron Blake  Trumpet
          Doug Boehm  Engineer, Mixing
          Julian Dorio  Beats, Group Member, Percussion
          Jason Freese  Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor)
          Parker Gispert  Group Member, Guitar, Piano, Vocals
          Jason Gossman  Assistant
          Graham Hope  Assistant
          Ted Jensen  Mastering
          Craig McQuiston  Composer
          Jason Mott  Assistant
          Rob Schnapf  Audio Production, Mixing, Producer
          Matt Stoessel  Pedal Steel
          Francisco Torres  Trombone
          Steven Trachtenbroit  Publicity
          Clint Welander  Assistant
Review  by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
          Perhaps it isn’t intentional that the Whigs’ name is a truncation of the Afghan Whigs — this quartet doesn’t sound much like the arty soul~rock of Greg Dulli’s Cleveland outfit — but it’s surely deliberate that this trio recalls alt~rock’s heyday of 1993 on their second album, Mission Control. Not that Mission Control would have held its own with Gentlemen or Saturation if it showed up in 1993, but this tight, 11~track collection niftily clocking in at under 40 minutes, has the sound and feel of the bottom of 120 Minutes’ Buzz Bin (not to mention the look: those defaced ‘70s snapshots are uncannily reminiscent of the ‘90s). the Whigs are vaguely rootless, sounding like any number of ‘90s alt~rock favorites -- those rolling, octave~jumping guitars could be compared to Pavement, those growling guitars could be compared to Guided by Voices, those harmonies and hooks may be lifted from the Foo Fighters, their po~faced lack of pretension either recalls the Replacements or, if you’re less charitable, Better Than Ezra — without sounding like anyone in particular. Which doesn’t mean that they have a unique identity; rather, they play like an alt~rock revue, hitting all the highlights but not channeling it into a distinctive sound. They have enough clatter and commotion to keep Mission Control moving at a brisk pace, but they could use some extra oomph — Parker Gispert’s voice fades beneath his guitars, giving this a strange listlessness — and they would really benefit from hooks that were finally honed instead of riffs and vocals that seem to circle around the melody instead of confronting them straight on. 

© Give ‘Em All a Big Fat Lip
Release date: 2005
Duration:     42:50
          David Axelrod  Mixing
          John Baldwin  Mastering
          Billy Bennett  Engineer, Mixing
          Chris Bilheimer  Art Direction, Design
          Mico Bowles  Trumpet
          Julian Dorio  Group Member
          Patrick Franklin  Trombone
          Dave Freeman  Saxophone
          Wes Funderburk  Trombone
          Parker Gispert  Group Member, Vocals 
          Hank Sullivant  Group Member, Bass 
          The Whigs  Primary Artist
Review   by Hal Horowitz
          This 2005 indie release was scooped up and reissued by ATO a year later after Rolling Stone named the Athens, GA trio one of the “Ten Artists to Watch” in April of 2006. It’s usually a good sign when a band creates a buzz without major~label money or influence, and that’s the case with the Whigs (not to be confused with the Afghan Whigs). With a classy sound somewhere between catchy '60s pop, Gomez~styled bluesy indie rock, and a Southern sensibility, the Whigs’ songs are snappy, tight, and free of excess fat. Their secret weapon is the interplay between keyboards and guitar; it’s organic and far from slick. A bit of Elvis Costello circa "Pump It Up" drives “OK, Alright,” and the raw, unsweetened quality of the music harkens back to punk’s early days. Lead singer Parker Gispert’s talk/sung vocals, with their natural rasp, are nonchalantly distinctive and grow more engaging as the project unwinds. Despite the rather aggressive title and cover art, there are more midtempo ballads than rockers, and the tone of the disc falls on the melancholy side. The sound is full without being slick. the Whigs prove that they are excellent producers of their own music and have a strong sense of dynamics as instruments enter and exit, staying just long enough for emphasis. Dueling vocals also weave around themselves on the lovely "Say Hello," and even though the lyrics seem to be stream of consciousness, they work well with the often unpredictable music that twists in unexpected but not unnatural directions. “Half a World Away” is a highlight as it features a lurching guitar solo set against a funeral organ and gently throbbing drums. The closing “All My Banks” is an artsy yet unpretentious minor~key piece which, at nearly seven minutes, is also the album’s longest track. The horns that augment it expand the sound into new and fascinating directions that the group will hopefully explore more fully with a larger budget on their sophomore release.

Photo by Jordan Noel in My Photos by Photo by Jordan Noel    The WhigsPhoto by Jordan Noel    The WhigsPhoto by Jordan Noel    The Whigs                                  © Photo by Jordan Noel

The Whigs ¤ Enjoy The Company (2012)





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