The Whigs In the Dark

The Whigs In the Dark
When the Whigs released their second album, Mission Control, in 2008, they found themselves the subject of heaping amounts of critical praise that often had a surprised undertone; here were a band offering straight-up, beer-soaked, thick, rock'n'roll, worked through structures a little more Replacements-ragged and Pixies-dynamic. It's a little disappointing, then, that on the cusp of delivering a potentially great next album, In the Dark has ended up devoid of a lot of the shoulder-shrugging ease and fun that made them so easy to like. The missteps are best encapsulated on "Someone's Daughter," which falls flat on its mediocre radio rock face, or "So Lonely," which is rich with hooks, but almost to a fault, when the real meat is in the explosive, tempo-busting bridge. It isn't without its great moments. First single "Kill Me Carolyne" is pushed just hard enough until it explodes into a raucous chorus of big, melodic guitars and quirky sing-speak. While the title track is all low, brooding vocals and a dominant bass line before the chorus sweetly sparkles with mile-wide hooks and atmospheric, layered vocals and guitars indicative of the band they still have a shot at becoming. (Maple)