WHAT YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW, VOLUME I:
THE AFGHAN WHIGS
Back in 2014, Greg Dulli and the boys got back into the Whig thing after a 16 year absence in a fantastic reunion that was well overdue with Do to the Beast. BeerMoviesMusic loved the shit out of that album, maybe partly because of nostalgia, but mainly because the world just needed the Afghan Whigs back, and In Spades is here to prove just that. As good as Do to the Beast felt to hear at first listen, In Spades is even better.... well, in spades.
If you are familiar with the Whigs' past work, you will know that every album begins with a introduction song setting the tone for the album, and in this case it's the very-mellow-yet-on-the-verge-of-exploding-at-any-minute track called "Birdland." And then the album does, in fact, explode with the two slick, soulful, funky, cool-ass singles "Arabian Nights" and "Demon in Profile." And if your great-music-starved mind hasn't quite blown over that, check out "Toy Gun," which is one of the greatest songs Greg Dulli has ever written-- and that's saying a godddamn fucking lot, folks. Seriously, try playing that track and then NOT instantly playing it again at least two more times before continuing the album. I dare you.
And it doesn't stop there. "Oriole," "Copernicus," "The Spell" and "Light as a Feather" all sound like classic Afghan Whigs songs, but bigger and more ambitious, almost as if Dulli doesn't know how much longer he can keep this Whig thing going, but plans to keep going bigger and bigger until he actually explodes on stage doing what he does best-- making your ear drums cum with funky, soul, psychedelic rock songs that exist somewhere between mellow and heavy, towing the line at will... until those drums cum at least four more times.
The Afghan Whigs' "Demon in Profile"
AT THE DRIVE-IN
It's fitting that At the Drive-In shows up in a review article that also features The Afghan Whigs, as the two bands share quite a few things in common (at least in my fucked-up mind). Now, their music sounds absolutely nothing alike, but they both produce a similar feeling deep in the gut of this writer whenever each is played. Both bands did something far different than the lot of their '90s contemporaries. Sure some idiots lumped ATDI in with the emo scene just as other morons tried to wedge the Whigs into the grunge crowd. But seriously if you hear someone call At the Drive-In an emo band, you can stop listening to anything else they have to say, because they clearly know nothing.
Inter Alia is exactly what you'd want in reunion album. It picks up right where Relationship of Command left off. It's got that same uneasy hardcore energy that makes you want to bounce off of walls... in a good way. "No Wolf Like the Present" starts with the familiar creeping sound effects before it explodes with some hard core punk-esque guitar of Mr. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and followed by the calculated shouting of Mr. Cedric Bixler-Zavala and just like that-- bam-- it's as if At the Drive-In never left us in the first place!
Some will complain that there is no Jim Ward. Well, if Jim Ward wanted to be a part of this, he could've been. He was invited, after all. But in all honesty, the band sounds even better without him. And some others will complain that the album is just too tightly produced, but they can shut up, too, because ATDI sounds better than ever before (at least from a producing standpoint). One can never physically capture the energy of a live performance in a recorded studio album, but At the Drive-In is probably closest thing there is, so why not perfect the levels? Ah, haters gonna hate and that's fine. At the Drive-In is better off without them, and will continue giving their true fans everything they can.
At the Drive-In's "Incurably Innocent"
Yeah, so... I can't dance. Like, at all. I'm terrible. But that doesn't mean I don't like to dance. I actually love it, and the drunker I get the more likely you'll get to see just how terrible and how deep my love for the terribleness runs. Anyone got a drink? Because suddenly I feel like dancing like no one's watching... even if everyone actually is watching, pointing and laughing at the "dancing" I do. And why do I suddenly feel like dancing? Because I just heard some Mexican Dubwiser.
The Los Angeles DJ duo's third album Border Frequency may be shorter in length than one would expect at only eight tracks log, but the time and energy put into those eight should have you dancing from start to finish, and if you want to dance some more, just put the fucker on repeat and have a party!
But don't you start thinking that Mexican Dubwiser is just dance music. It's also politically charged, positive revolution music. It's also loaded with international flavoring from South of the Border to the Caribbean Sea and just about everywhere in-between and back around the world again.
Border Frequency starts off with the single "Lecture Me," which features artists Self Provoked and Tito Fuentes, setting the stage for the rest of the festival that then launches into some hip-hop in Espanol in "El Gran Ciudada" with Tino el Pinguino, and continues strong almost from start to finish. The BeerMoviesMusic choice for best track goes to "Nobody Is Perfect" for its fabulous use of sensational pop-rap, while the track one can avoid would be "Rock Your Body," because it just feels out of place and a little too generic for an album that is anything but.
Though Border Frequency probably appears mostly to those into the club scene, the album has enough mixture of music types all piled into one, that BeerMoviesMusic can safely recommend this one to all audiences, especially those aiming to try something new.
Mexican Dubwiser featuring Money Mark "Nobody's Perfect"
For more on The Afghan Whigs, go here.
For more on At the Drive-In, go here.
For more on Mexican Dubwiser, go here.