Sunday, May 25, 2014
Afghan Whigs Do The Beast
It's been ages since Greg Dulli and his Whigs have released a record. It's been so long in fact that there's a generation out there that may not have even known that the Afghan Whigs were indeed one of Sub Pop's finest bands before Nirvana blew up. Nearly a decade and a half after their last release, Dulli got the band back together went home to SubPop and released Do The Beast. Half a surprise, half a blessed gift the album should go a long way to illuminating past generations of Afghan Whig's superiority.
Do The Beast is a mature effort that seems to easily pick up where the band left off nearly fifteen years ago. Dulli has crafted a fine set of songs here that are dramatic, edgy, rooted in all sorts of classical, swoony, and emotional influences. There are string sections, slow broody songs, out and out rockers, and hit after potential hit. Comeback album? I think not, Do The Beast is a fantastical return to form. It's as if the band never stopped and they've been recording all this time. While there's some of that characteristic old school Sub Pop stuff in this record there's so much more.
While Do The Beast is a beautiful sounding record that balances itself on a knife edge of influences there's a dark undercurrent to much of this record that's reflected in it's title. Songs of revenge, duality, violence, and death all appear on this record and it makes the imagination swirl with movie like scenes of drama. Dulli knows how to pen a lyric pretty well and this record is full of his senses and ideas running wild.
Do The Beast is not only a welcome surprise (that may or may not be the result of a live encounter with Usher!) but one heck of a record. This is an album that proves you can teach an old dog new tricks and that the Afghan Whigs still have bucket loads of songs yet to offer. Do The Beast rocks darkly and beautifully through maturity and one can't help but wonder if the adventure that this record is, is the result of all that time and creativity being stored in Dulli's brain unable to escape. Easily one of the best records of 2014 I hope this rebirth leads to even more adventures and adventurous records