The Whigs Modern Creation on Limited Edition 180g LP + Download Card
For their fifth album, the Athens-bred/Nashville-based power trio the Whigs wanted to find the exact midpoint between raw and rehearsed. After more than a decade together - during which they've released four critically lauded studio albums and toured constantly as either headliners or openers for the likes of the Drive-By Truckers, Kings of Leon, and MGMT - the three members all agreed that they wanted to flex their muscles a bit: write some good songs, get them down as tight as possible, hit record, and tear shit up.
For months the trio hammered these songs into shape at their Nashville practice space, united in a shared mission: to perform these songs with as much energy and excitement as possible, to expertly navigate every tricky tempo change, taut groove, spacy tangent, and ebullient hook. Their infamously raucous live show was never far from their minds. In the fall of 2013, the trio headed west to record with Jim Scott at his PLYRZ Studio in Valencia, California, about thirty miles northwest of Los Angeles. Scott has helmed albums by Tom Petty, Wilco, and Matthew Sweet, among many others, and his experience proved invaluable.
With Scott in their corner, the Whigs worked hard to make sure these songs didn't sound worked over. Rather than track each instrument individually, the band captured most of the songs in first or second takes, playing together live in the studio. Or, as the case may be, just outside the studio. Bypassing the studio proper, they set up shop in the hangout area at PLYRZ: a cavernous room where most artists spend their time eating, listening to records, goofing off, and just chilling out. For the Whigs, however, it became their creative headquarters.
PLYRZ proved inspirational for the Whigs, who channeled Scott’s experience and surroundings into wildly diverse rock songs that veer abruptly in unexpected directions and channel a dizzying range of influences - often in the same song. “She Is Everywhere” begins as an improbably spry pop-rock song, with a bouncy guitar jangle that evokes L.A.’s Paisley Underground. When the chorus comes around, the tempo slows precipitously and the song settles into a sludge-riff that recalls a time when “Iron Man” still walked the earth. Likewise, “Friday Night” mixes Motörhead momentum with one of the band’s catchiest pop hooks, while the martial stomp of “The Particular” - one of the album’s headiest and most hyperactive tracks - is punctuated by the band’s excitable shouts of “Hey!”
“I feel like we’re pulling from a big pool of influences,” says Gispert. “We’re drawing from different eras and different styles that we haven’t really explored on previous albums, and we’re trying to incorporate them into a sound that is still the Whigs.” Modern Creation is packed with playful allusions to rock’s past, yet the band isn't playing to their record collection. Rather, these new songs digest a range of influences and spit them back out as something new, exciting, and idiosyncratic.
The Whigs Modern Creation Track Listing:
1. You Should Be Able To Feel It
2. Asking Strangers For Directions
3. The Particular
4. Hit Me
5. Modern Creation
6. Friday Night
7. She Is Everywhere
8. Too Much In The Morning
9. I Couldn’t Lie
10. The Difference Between One And Two