Mission Control


Well, they did it. Few bands actually live up to the potential they show, but The Whigs have proved that without a doubt they are the real deal... the genuine article... that they're here to stay. When I first got my hands on their debut, Give 'Em All A Big Fat Lip, I was just as floored by their story as I was by the album itself. Recorded in a frat house on the campus of the University Of Georgia, it was hard to believe that it was self-recorded on their own equipment. Could it be beginners luck? With their sophomore album, Mission Control, the band has answered with a confident hell no.

For album number two, the Athens, GA trio partnered up producer Rob Schnapf, who has also worked with artists such as Elliott Smith, Beck and Guided By Voices. The results are a perfect combination of indie garage rock and Southern twang, making this one of the first must-hear albums of 2008. Singer & guitarist Parker Gispert's raspy voice and chunky guitars give Mission Control some serious balls, but The Whigs never lose site of their pop sensibilities. They fall somewhere between The Replacements and Foo Fighters, but even that doesn't come close to accurately describing the monstrous rock found on Mission Control.

The band gets right down to it with the opener, "Like A Vibration." Thrashing guitars that nearly suffocate Gispert's vocals, finally bursting through the murk on the harmonized chorus. Yup, these guys mean business. While "I Never Want To Go Home" is a personal favorite, "Right Hand On My Heart" is the fucking jam. This is a beast of a song, with the massive thumping on the drums by Julian Dorio pushing it along. There is no studio tricky, just some badass musicianship and killer songwriting. They push the audio levels to the limit, sounding as if the drums and guitars are going to cause your speakers to explode. The Whigs pack quite a punch.

It is difficult not to totally enjoy the latest offering from The Whigs, a band that Rolling Stone once called the best-unsigned band in the US. They wrote some mighty great rock songs and didn't screw them up by dumping a bunch of studio wizardry on top of them. Instead, they've given us a raw, stripped down rock album with plenty of hooks to keep Mission Control stuck in your head for days on end. If they keep this up, we'll be hearing from these Georgians for quite some time. Once you hear "Need You Need You," you'll understand too.

The Whigs
ATO Records

Mission Control