The spark for their fifth studio album is certainly there, The Whigs just need an extra rock n’roll omph to fully light the fuse.
New West Records, 2014
6.3 / 10
Ten years ago The Whigs were just a mere uni-band using custom Ebay equipment to knock out their naive energy on frequently played stages while leading up to records — the iffy In the Dark and the most recent Enjoy The Company. Neither of these records gave much to any sort of slipway, and their latest Modern Creation desperately attempts to overtake its predecessors while also being irritatingly held back.
However, they don’t leave behind the catchy hooks along with the blunt drum beats. Opener “You Should Be Able To Feel It” features the same classic twinge on Parker Gispert’s vocals. You could expect this for a satisfactory drum roaring anthem to open up any of The Whigs’ albums; it’s repetitive but partially forceful. But guessing that this album is a progression would be wrong. Tracks such as “The Particular” promises heavier results but just returns the the old whinge of vocals, “We are broken in to little bits/ Little bits”. The instrumentation basically builds the song as in “I Couldn’t Lie”. It’s easy to hear the band striving for their desired Southern-edge rock, but the balance is swung either one way or the other. You have “Too Much In The Morning” popping up with bizarrely placed synths along with the heavy rumble during, “I Just wanna run for ever/ And I want to Rock n’Roll.” It’s like a desperate screech for some unforgiving, bitter heavy thrust this record needs.
Modern Creation zooms in and out of various stages. The song, ‘Friday Night’ almost resolves the issues with the band’s restrained energy, “All I know/ I just wanna go.” It thrashes through a warmer drum and guitar blister that could be the remedy of the album. However, it’s clear The Whigs inevitably need a beer-soaked, raw gig to get this sort of energy out consistently. They try a laid back, blunt take on “The Difference Between One and Another” with a dirtier bass line, and Parker Gispert attempts the sort of deprecation you could enlighten from The Vaccines’ Justin Young. But it’s a perspective which is hard to see on songs like “She Is Everywhere”, which could get you going at a gig but silences strangely into a hesitant stagger. The question lies between bobbing your head to this record or waking up with ripped neck tendons.