Alternative rockers The Afghan Whigs have always been a unique force in the genre. Their new album is no exception, and they bring all they've got. The Afghan Whigs Go Big On In Spades with lots of fire in their step.
The clearest thing about In Spades is its energy. There's a lot of it and it stays rolling throughout the record. It really revs up in 'Arabian Heights' with its superb groove that doesn't stop rolling. The guitars play a lot of pivotal roles in the track, with lots of creative licks being used throughout the track. The vocals soar on the track, really bringing power and darkness to the track. Similar energy can be found in the anthemic 'Copernicus' a few tracks later, its crunchy riffs and eerie chords backed by the confident drums and soaring harmonies. The energy never ends and is never lost.
That doesn't stop The Afghan Whigs from taking some risks. Opening track 'Birdland' is a pretty capturing opening, its orchestral backing being supported by the jagged, punchy a cappella harmonies. It's an interesting introduction that definitely brings your attention to the record before the energy kicks in. The sweet vibe of 'Oriole' also offers an interesting sound to the record, its warm acoustic guitar and confident build offering a sense of innocence to the record.
The big thing about In Spades is, well, how big it is. It really feels like an event, while succeeding in remaining unconventional. It has a huge conclusion with 'Into The Floor,' all of the album's darkness being brought into one epic finale. The song has a doomy but confident vibe to it, ultimately climaxing with huge guitars that lead into a beautiful orchestra that peacefully take the album out. The perfect way to end it all.
The Afghan Whigs go big on In Spades and don't hold back. In Spades is all about energy and full of epic moments, but intense and beautiful. It's an excellently put together record, and while not every song is a hit, it really hits hard when it reaches its climaxes.
Favorite Tracks: Arabian Heights, Into The Floor, Copernicus
Least Favorite Track: Light As A Feather
Rating: 75 / 100
Buy or listen to In Spades on Amazon: