There’s nothing particularly fancy or groundbreaking about The Whigs, an Athens, Ga.-bred trio that has dropped four albums of tuneful Garage Pop over the course of its decade of road-tested existence. The Whigs specialize in earnest, guitar-driven nuggets that recall both their hometown’s jangle-laden roots and a variety of old-school heavy-hitters, from Neil Young to The Replacements. Hey, sometimes good taste and a rousing live show is more than enough.
The band’s latest record, the aptly titled Enjoy the Company, finds the guys — guitarist/vocalist Parker Gispert, drummer Julian Dorio and bassist Timothy Deaux — lightening up a bit, employing a sunnier, more expansive approach when compared to their three-chords-and-a-cloud-of-dust beginnings. Ace producer John Angello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, The Hold Steady) no doubt had a hand in the shift, which is never more evident than on the album’s bookended tracks.
The eight-minute opener, “Staying Alive,” sprinkles in horns and features an unexpectedly epic-feeling second half that brings to mind the jammier moments of the aforementioned dudes in The Hold Steady at their Born to Run best. Likewise, Enjoy the Company’s closer, “Ours,” opens languidly with acoustic guitar, strings and Gispert’s plaintive voice before culminating in a maze of crashing drums and yearning guitar that would have Springsteen himself smiling in recognition.
THE WHIGS perform Sunday, March 17 at 20th Century Theater in Oakley. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.