The Whigs, Enjoy the Company
Still a straightforward lot
The Whigs have always been a straightforward lot. “Staying Alive,” the first cut on the Athens, Georgia, rockers’ fourth album, is eight minutes long, giving Parker Gispert, Tim Deaux and Julian Dorio time for a few verses of easy-boogie riffage, some old soul horns, a dissonant buzzsaw guitar showpiece, and a breathily intimate coda. And yet, rather than waxing grandiose, the song merely seems to be just putting its cards on the table, as though to say: “Here’s what we’ve got to offer. If you would like to be entertained by nine shorter versions of this forthright rock and roll persistence, please stick around.”
That is exactly what The Whigs’ humbly named Enjoy the Company does. Just around that point in the album where you start to suspect that rocking out might not be enough, the Whigs drop a corny but not cloying double-shot of domestic sweetness: “Couple of Kids” (about having, not being them) and “Thank You” (“Thanks for being the love of my life”). And follow that with “Rock and Roll Forever,” which, rather than raging against AutoTune or some other aspect of modernity the way a dumber band of traditional meat-and-potatoes rockers might, expresses a simple affection for the music the Whigs make. The feeling’s mutual.