eMusic Review 0
The Afghan Whigs were from Cincinnati, but they benefited from the Seattle land rush of the early '90s when their Sub Pop pedigree helped them get snapped up by Elektra. The band's farewell EP to the seminal Seattle label, Uptown Avondale, found them dabbling even more in the soul music that informed their intoxicated swagger — Avondale eschewed new original material for covers of "Band Of Gold" and the Supremes, and was capped off by a remix of their drunken-haze ode "Miles Is Ded" that was retitled to pay tribute to Miles Davis's Birth Of The Cool.
It was on their fourth full-length where the Whigs' mix of Sub Pop-borne dreariness and soul-wrenching R&B reached its peak. If you strip a description of Gentlemen down to its most basic parts, it sounds like a post-Durstian slog; steeped in loathing of both the self and anyone who dares come near it, it's full of dirges that simultaneously bury and exhume a relationship that somehow is still alive, and throwing around the word "love" when referring to itself.
And yet, Gentlemen is, by turns, astonishing and harrowing, putting to tape depictions of people falling out of love from what seem like hundredth-story windows.… read more »