With their new album enjoy the company, the whigs have created a raucous ode to rock and roll. From the opening track, an exhilarating eight-minute mission statement called “staying alive,” the record offers a powerful sonic rendering of a band opening up to the depth of their past and kicking open the doors to their future. But most of all, this is the undeniably established sound of a band affirming their legacy in the american rock and roll paradigm.
While the whigs recorded their second record mission control at famed sunset sound studios in hollywood and their third release in the dark in athens, the making of enjoy the company was a dramatically different affair. This time the group sought the guidance of veteran producer john agnello (dinosaur jr, son volt, sonic youth) and the solitude of dreamland studios housed in a historic church in rural woodstock, new york. “we went out there to record without any distractions,” bassist timothy deaux explains. “there were no girlfriends there, no bars to go out to. It was just us and the music. Our last album focused on some pretty dark themes and with this one i think there’s a newfound sense of optimism and purpose. We didn’t make a sugary record, but i think we are honestly feeling good about the band and our lives and it comes across in the sound.”
As a result, the whigs latest features ten tracks of pure celebratory rock and roll fueled by the rhythms of the road, the classic albums that inspired them and nights spent together on stage. “when we’re out there driving from show to show, that’s my favorite time to get new song ideas,” gispert says. “and the tracks we eventually picked for the album are the ones that we love playing live.”
The song “Gospel” mines a joyous guitar hook for a timeless fm radio feel while another track “Rock and Roll Forever” is a spirited hard riffing love letter to the power of primal rock. And after opening with the impassioned declaration of resilience in “Staying Alive,” the record perfectly bookends with an equally ardent proclamation entitled “Ours.” the song begins with reflective vocals over a lone guitar. Then, like some lost track from a beloved vinyl classic, the music builds, drums exploding accompanied by a volley of power chords. “that song was written about a child whose parents were teaching him how to share,” gispert explains. “it’s not mine or yours, but ours. Our band, our music – it’s open to anybody.”