The Whigs | Mission Control (ATO)

cd_whigs.jpgI find myself humming the vocal parts and the bass guitar parts to "Production City," the second track.




Athens, Ga., has a healthy music scene that has been the start for such bands as The B-52’s, R.E.M., Widespread Panic and the Elephant 6 Collective, to name just a few. The musically rich college town has created another new band that is gaining the respect of fans and critics alike. The Whigs join this list with their anticipated ATO Records debut album, Mission Control.

The members of the Whigs—Parker Gispert (vocals, guitar), Sam Gunn (bass) and Julian Dorio (drums)—were drawn to The University of Georgia for their education and because of its musical history. The band formed and quickly recorded their self-released debut Give ‘Em All a Big Fat Lip in an unused frat house during the summer while it wasn’t occupied with students. They purchased all of the gear they wanted to record this album on eBay as part of an intelligent plan to keep their costs low. Not only did they find everything they needed at resale prices, but they also used the online auction house to then sell the gear once they finished the album to make their money back. "I think we actually probably made a little bit of money," Gispert says in the press release. I think a lot of indi bands could benefit from this approach.

Their self-released original album turned so many heads that they eventually joined forces with ATO for support on their major-label debut. The partnership with ATO and all of their other attention seems to have really helped The Whigs along their way to musical success. For Mission Control, they worked with accomplished producer Rob Schnapf (Elliot Smith, Guided by Voices, and Beck) at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles.

As soon as I started listening to Mission Control, I heard what I believe to be their musical influences. Influences like INXS, The Pixies, Possum Dixon; plus, every now and then I pick up on good, ol’ fashioned southern rockers CCR. This album will command your ear from the beginning.

The more I listen to Mission Control, the more I find that I like about it. I find myself humming the vocal parts and the bass guitar parts to "Production City," the second track. This tells me that the Whigs’ sophomore effort will be one of those infectious albums that might end up one of your favorites…just like the band that made it. B+ | Keith Mangles

RIYL: INXS, The Pixies, Possum Dixon

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