9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
"If they've seen it all, show them something new".,
This review is from: Do to the Beast (Audio CD)
When suspiciously "record studio"-like photos began surfacing on the Whigs Facebook page without much fanfare, I allowed myself to hope, and was extremely happy when "Do to the Beast" was announced. I'm a relatively new Whigs fan, getting into them through an interview with Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem and buying Gentlemen back in 2011. As a result I haven't had quite the wait that the "first wave" fans have faced, but nonetheless, my anticipation was high for this album.
So does it stack up to my expectations? I have to say 90% yes. It's a great album, make no mistake. "Parked Outside" is one hell of an opener, marrying crunchy guitars and an almost-discordant cello to Greg's unmistakeable yowl. "Matomoros" follows this up with a typically funky guitar and a thunderous bass boom in the chorus that never fails to satisfy. Other highlights include crooning Western death-ballad "Algiers" and "Royal Cream" - which sounds bizarrely like Jimmy Eat World's delinquent chain-smoking older brother.
So why only four stars? (Four and a half really, but I can't give half stars).
Well, it's perhaps not surprising, but a significant part of the album sounds A LOT like Greg's other band, the Twilight Singers. For the most part this isn't a problem, as TS are a great band, but just sometimes in the more electronic parts of this album I found myself longing for the gritty, purely organic Whigs of yesteryear. The worst offender is probably "The Lottery" a shimmering track with electronic drums which just sounds too much like a reject from Dynamite Steps (it's probably the weakest track on the album which doesn't help).
Other than that minor gripe, and also a slight longing for a couple more hard rockers like the first two tracks, this is a great album. It's seen quite a few plays already from me, and it's very likely to see a few more. I would say it's comparable to Soundgarden's stellar comeback "King Animal" - a well-established band making a great comeback after an extended absence.
For those in the know, I found it much easier to get into than Black Love. It's probably on a par with the partylicious 1965 in terms of quality, edged out by the phenomenal Gentlemen (I'm not too familiar with the albums before that and so I'll refrain from commenting). For those new to the band, this is a good starting point. Give it a shot.