The Whigs

In the Dark

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Continuing their trek through the alt-rock battlefield of the ‘90s, the Whigs reach the glory years of post-grunge on their third album, In the Dark. Pumped up with muscular guitars and buffed to a high gloss by producer Ben Allen, who manages to pull a U-turn from his work with Animal Collective, In the Dark is the best album the Foo Fighters never made, with heavy guitars edged out by heavy hooks. Any traces of lingering indie affectations are sanded out -- somewhat ironically so given the presence of Allen, who gives them a veneer that would guarantee them modern rock radio play if such a thing still existed in 2010 -- replaced by a smooth melodic assurance, yet it’s not so beholden to the past to sound stiff. The Whigs absorbed every rock trend of the ‘90s, consciously taking in the cool stuff while the mainstream tunes seeped in, and here they turn In the Dark into something that’s a guilty pleasure for anyone raised on grunge.

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