The Afghan Whigs Do to the Beast

Their first album in 16 years, and having sworn never to reform after
their 2001 split, ‘Do to the Beast’ is an unexpected bonus for fans of The
Afghan Whigs.

There are plenty of them out there, after all.

Having come to the fore during the grunge era, the group went on to achieve mainstream success on Sony/Columbia in the mid-90s and it’s that kaleidoscopic alternative rock sound that dominates on this record.

‘Matamoros’, for example, welds Red Hot Chili Peppers-funk to Battles-esque math rock with surprisingly positive results, while ‘It Kills’ is an exercise in bombast that might be categorised as something approaching rock opera.

Elsewhere, ‘Parked Outside’ and ‘The Lottery’ could have been plucked straight from the original, grungiest incarnation of the group that emerged with such raw energy in the late ’80s.

The themes (depression, substance abuse, sex) are the same as always and
Greg Dulli’s theatrical, MeatloafAlbums esque delivery, overwrought
throughout, is a constant reminder that this is very much a throwback to
rock’s more extravagant excesses.

It means that the album isn’t for everyone but the Whigs never pretended to build their modus operandi on refinement.

And so if you want big choruses, arena-scale drums and screaming guitars
then ‘Do to the Beast’ is for you.

For devotees of thos Cincinnati group it’ll feel like the last 13 years was just a dream.

“Our records fit that description in a very precise way,” Lorena explains.

“I also really like when Camus describes ‘the absurd’ as ‘this discomfort in the face of man’s own inhumanity, this incalculable tumble before the image of what we are…’”

It’s an especially ambiguous description, but one which seems to capture something intangible, some ineffable feeling, in Lorelle Meets

The Obsolete’s evocative, yet somehow aloof, music. Hailing from Mexico, the group’s music is a heady fusion of expansive psych jams, kosmische
repetition, and the ragged bubblegum of garage pop.

This is art that continually fragments and distorts known forms only to reconstruct them into something that simultaneously conjures both nostalgia and surreal unease.

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