|« Thrill Jockey Announces 20th Anniversary Party with Tortoise, The Sea and Cake||Preview: Making Americana Pop with Exit Ghost @ Double Door 11/20 »|
Preview Thu Nov 15 2012
Friday evening at Lincoln Hall welcomes a band that's garnered a strong following over its decade-long reign in the world of alternative rock music. Four full-length albums round out The Whigs' extensive catalog for a group that seems to bolster their songwriting abilities and musicality with each release, maturing and altering in ways that further enhance their cultivated sound.
Energized, gritty garage rock is a part of The Whigs' musical identity, who delved into recording sessions for their debut album Give 'Em All A Big Fat Lip in 2006 at their University of Georgia campus in Athens, as sound reverberated from the walls of the abandoned fraternity house that original members Parker Gispant, Julian Dorio, and Hank Sullivant deemed their temporary studio. Three albums later, and they've opened for groups such as Franz Ferdinand and The Killers, with an extensive fan base following along all the way. High-octane numbers mesh with more mercurial, soft ballads that seem surprisingly opposite from their signature sound. Note the unexpected hum of stringed instruments opening for full guitar chords in "Ours," the subtle country twang backing in "Sleep Sunshine," the darker grunge vibe given off by "Hundred/Million," and you've got more than your typical rock band. Take a listen below:
As The Whigs spent their time opening for prominently established bands, other groups now have the chance at their spot in the limelight. I would suggest stopping by early when doors open in order to catch Ballroom Boxer, Chicago-based group taking their own spin on what it means to be an alternative rock band. First off, their tagline on their band blog states, "We're what you get when you drop the Great Gatsby, Johnnie Walker & fireworks in a blender." I was already intrigued. Upon listening, their sound is beachy, inventive and vibrant. The group, formed by Mike and Dave Altier, Jared Cummans, and Tom Wood, came together from different parts of the country, from Ohio, to Tennessee, to Chicago, and these sounds are evident; the Southern grunge fuzz, energized Chicago rock, and the commanding vocals akin to Ohio-native predecessors, The Black Keys. Blending these elements together forms a high energy sound that is able to take rougher subjects and subvert them into an upbeat, gregarious romanticism. Ballroom Boxer is able to juxtapose robust numbers such as "My Mistakes," with summery, wanderlust-inducing nostalgia stemming from "Hearts are Wild," on their debut EP Summer Mixes & Backseat Dreams. That's exactly what their recorded material recalls - wistful memories of driving down that highway road on a summer night, the street lines stretching to near infinity. Bring your "untamed heart" to Lincoln Hall to hear an opener that will no doubt be where The Whigs are standing in no time.
Opener Kuroma will present listeners with distinct, folk rock sounds. Their songs such as scattered, frenetic "Alexander Martin" recall 70s Led Zeppelin, both in vocals that edge on Robert Plant's signature sound, with a crystal clear guitar backing. "Angel," off their debut album Psychopomp creates an 80s mystique with airy layering and synth-rock sounds. However, they're not amiss from their solid rock roots, showcased in songs such as "Searching For A Sheep." Their sound may sound familiar to Whigs fans...because Hank Sullivant, original member, broke off from the group to form Kuroma a mere six years ago to pursue his solo outfit. As part of the Whigs, Sullivant developed his own sound, which seemed to veer in a different direction from the music that The Whigs were creating at the time. After a certain point, he knew that there was a distinct path that he wanted to pursue with his music, which would involve starting over. Unlike The Whigs' catalogue which features unabashed, daring numbers, Kuroma's sound is more delicate, introspective and creeps up on you like a cold Chicago wind that in this case, you don't want to shake. The energy is contagious within his music, and his more personal take on rock music is evident in both full-length albums that have been released; the retrograde sound collides with catchy beats and infectious rhythms time after time. Make sure you stop by earlier to see this original member of The Whigs showcase his experimentation with his own medium, like a seasoned artist working with a blank canvas.
The Whigs, Kuroma, and Ballroom Boxer play Lincoln Hall on Friday, 11/16, with showtime beginning at 9pm. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, and the show is 21+. Lincoln Hall is located at 2424 N. Lincoln Avenue, (773) 525-2501.