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The Whigs have long been known as a clever pop/rock band with a knack for folding just the right special effect into its oft-intricate arrangements. For its fifth album, however, the Athens-born/Nashville-bred trio decided to eschew extraneous effluvia and do things the old-fashioned way: write some good songs and record ‘em live from the floor. Stripping down to their skivvies, so to speak, seems to have done the Whigs some good, as Modern Creation is the band’s most satisfying record yet. Skipping any production fripperies throws the spotlight firmly on the trio’s comfort with hooks, allowing the rocking “Friday Night” and “Modern Creation” and the subtly funky “Hit Me” to be as catchy as they need to be without interference. Indeed, at times the band easily recalls the 80s college rock legacy of its region, especially unabashedly rocking ancestors like Carnival Season and Dreams So Real – a very good thing to these ears. Amazing what can be accomplished when you just write strong tunes and play ‘em well.
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