Reviews of 1965
Here are three reviews of 1965 from the press in my area. All three say basically the same thing, but they all bit me in the ass at a time when I thought no one cared about the Afghan Whigs. The first two are from free 'youth' papers that are printed locally, while the third is a national magazine which I suppose is the Australian equivilant for the US magazine 'People'. Anyway, enjoy...
"X-Press" Review of 1965
After the underrated Black Love album, many thought that Greg Dulli's sexual exploits would remain forever in the darkened bars and strip clubs of his own seedy twilight zone.
Thankfully, he relocated his cohorts to the Mecca of lust, New Orleans. He could walk
proudly through the French Quarter, a place where you're more likely to fins a prophylactic
on you pillow than a mint, knowing that behind each door lies a song licking it's lips. However you'll find a lot more respect between the lyric sheets than the
bravado of old. Slipping further towards his shared love of soul and R&B, Dulli adopts
an Isaac Hayes approach to romance with 'a little wine/ some Marvin Gaye' (John the
Later the music mirrors Gaye on the track Omerta, where Dulli's troubleman also namechecks a Nas lyric for good measure. Being a
crescent city, The Whigs have pared down their guitar attack by adding to the gumbo
the Re-Birth Brass Band and some glorious backing vocals by Susan Marshall (especially
Neglekted ), who trades lines with Dulli like a couple flirting from the opposite sides of a
crowded juke joint.
Local resident Alex Chilton lays down some backing vocals on Crazy
before a 20 second spurt of love is interrupted by an acoustic guitar and the familiar
scenario of Dulli working a pick up line in '66. As albums go, this is a sauna. .
. so make sure you play it in a well ventilated room, it sure gets sticky down on
"Hype" Review of 1965
American rock is on the ascendancy for the first time since Eddie Vedder took a shit
and called it Pearl Jam. Recent albums by Mercury Rev, Beck, and even REM have seen
translucent posturing of Grunge give way to passion, sensitivity, emotion and soul.
Now Greg Dulli's painfully underrated 'Whigs kick open the bedroom door and slide into
something that's sweaty, sexy and smells of mud.
White rock's been so asexual for so long that I have to think back to 'Brown Sugar"
era 'Stones to conjure up anything as earthy, vibrant or fiery. It's amped and never
dour, good time/bad time party music for people lost in the middle of the night.
Music that would suck the four elements out of the stone and spit out ecstasy. Full of
swagger and an almost gospel fervour - when were backing vocals this visceral last
used in white guitar music? And the lyrics. . . "I'll be down on my knees, screamin',
take me, take me, take me, I'm yours."
By the end they've lost it so deep in love and lust the 'Whigs find themselves out
in the darklands with no reference points except paranoia, regret and a little dose
of voodoo magic. But music this good is worth losing your soul over - get into the
wild side of love.
"Who" Review of 1965
There's no lovey-dovey sentimentality for Greg Dulli, lead singer with this Cincinnati,
Ohio, quartet. When Cupid's arrow finds its mark, it has to hit below the belt. "I
wantcha so bad, after tonight I'll never walk the same," he rasps on the opening
track from the the band's sixth album.
After emerging from the US grunge scene in the early 1990's, the Whigs have developed
into a swaggering combo with style to burn. Their love of soul music is well documented,
and even though they're most definitely a rock band, you can hear the influence in their swinging rhythm section, insistent riffs and visceral lyrical approach. Not
too mention lines such as "hey welcome home, I got a little wine, some Marvin Gaye."
With the introduction of brassy horns and wailing female backing vocals here and there,
they're also filling out nicely. The title is a reference to the year in which three
of the band's members were born, but as the old R&B Top 30 chart inside the CD cover suggests (entries include the Supremes, Otis Redding, the Four Tops, Martha & the
Vandellas) it's a time this band obviously cherishes. ($29.95, 41min 38sec)
[NB: in the same issue of this magazine, the new Whitney Houston album My Love is
Your Love, scored a D. What does this say about the top forty?]
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