The Afghan Whigs

Uptown Avondale

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The Afghan Whigs' final recording for Sub Pop, Uptown Avondale is anything but a contractual obligation -- a five-track EP comprising four R&B covers and a remake of Congregation's unlisted bonus track "Milez Iz Ded" (here retitled "The Rebirth of the Cool"), it's a soulful, scorching collection that captures the band at their gritty best. Quickly dispelling any lingering doubts that Greg Dulli's soul-man aspirations are anything but genuine, the disc's covers of chestnuts like Freda Payne's "Band of Gold" and the Supremes' "Come See About Me" are remarkable, remaining true to the music's R&B roots but infused with the Whigs' noise-punk energy -- Dulli sings like a man possessed, rejuvenating this familiar material with both reverence and attitude.

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