The Afghan Whigs

What Jail is Like

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Aside from the Gentlemen standout, this EP features the Afghan Whigs' abilities both with cover versions and in the live arena. The three studio covers demonstrate an interesting range -- the Ass Ponys' "Mr. Superlove" (with banjo thrown into the usual Whigs soul crunch for an impressive reading), and "Dark End of the Street" and the Rodgers & Hart standard "Little Girl Blue," both given slow and low renditions accentuated by cello and piano, the latter played by longtime Whigs sideman Harold Chichester. The three live cuts, taken from a Denver show, include another take on "What Jail Is Like" and another Gentlemen track, "Now You Know." The absolute winner, though, and possibly the best thing the Whigs have ever recorded, is a mind-blowing medley of the Supremes' Motown classics "My World Is Empty Without You" (originally recorded in studio as a single) and "I Hear a Symphony." Given a slow, menacing but not trudging pace, both songs are exquisitely reworked by the band while Greg Dulli burns with wounded power.

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