Friday, April 27, 2007

The Whigs @ Rock and Roll Hotel




Were the question "Do you like rock and roll?" posed to either GL or I on Monday, chances are good neither of us would've had the strength to answer. We were going to see our fourth show in five days, including a four-band marathon at Black Cat last Thursday and a trek to B'more to see Spoon on Saturday.

But alas, when rock and roll duty calls, the Rockists show up in a big, red firetruck, with a huge ladder, bulletproof vests, gas masks, and potable water. Which is to say, prepared. So with sore legs and bloodshot eyes, what did we do? We got on over to Northeast DC to the Rock and Roll Hotel to catch the Whigs, the buzzworthy Athens, GA rockers. Here's what we thought:

GH: No complaints. Julian Dorio, the drummer, is a spazz back there, bashing away like Animal or Keith Moon. He kinda holds his sticks really casually, like they're almost going to slip out of his hands sometimes, but his playing is precise and rocking in equal measure. It's a testament to what a huge impact a drummer can have on a three-piece band. I also thought Parker Gispert was a pretty sweet guitar player; no wordy solos, but rather just furious strumming, with liberal fuzz and feedback. As for the songs, well, they're just fine. The best ones were the catchiest -- "Violet in Furs", "Technology", "Written Invitation" -- and I think that's because, when all the songs crackle with energy and buzz, simply having a little something to hook onto helps out a lot. But I did love the way they turned "Technology" and "Written Invitation" from acoustic pop songs to true rockers. To say there wasn't a down moment would indicate that I had a moment to think and recognize a moment as such. But no...it was nothing but unfiltered bash-and-pop rock and roll from the Whigs.

G.L.: Agreed, GH. I was on the verge of burning out there for a while (which is, of course, preferred to fading away), but I was damn glad to be seeing these guys. I had read a fair amount about The Whigs and they sounded exactly like what I love in rock and roll bands: poppy songs played at temple-busting volumes with a kick-ass drummer. Someone referred to them as Superchunk meets The Replacements. Honestly, I thought maybe more like Dinosaur Jr. meets The Replacements, but that'll do too. I really loved "Written Invitation" and the single(?) "Technology" was catchy as hell.

I'm looking forward to big things from these guys, but as you may have noticed, they haven't released an album since 2005's Give Em All A Big Fat Lip. Here's to hoping they get in the studio soon.

1 comment:

King said...

Rob Schnapf is the producer they are working with this summer. I like yer blog format.