Thank you to all who all entered the Thirty Four Flavours and Riot Fest & Expo Toronto Ticket Giveaway this past week. I loved reading your die hard responses to my question of which Riot Fest Toronto band you were looking forward to catching at Downsview Park in September. There were some cheeky responses and some heartfelt pleas.
I have just emailed the winner of the Riot Fest & Expo Toronto weekend passes – keep an eye on your email box.
I also have (SURPRISE! SURPRISE!) three honourable mentions who will be receiving a Riot Fest & Expo Toronto Commemorative poster. Great work everyone!
Now back to business.
The Afghan Whigs
Do to the Beast is the first new album by The Afghan Whigs in over a decade and a half. Founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1988, the band has long stood out from its peers, with their savage, rapturous blend of hard rock, classic soul, and frontman Greg Dulli’s searing obsessions. The new album serves as both a homecoming – it marks their return to Sub Pop, for whom the Whigs were the first signing from outside the label’s Northwest base – and a glimpse into the future of one of the most acclaimed bands of the past thirty years.
I like what Ian Cohen from Pitchfork said about ‘Somos’.
‘Somos are as no-frills and trend-averse as it gets. The Boston band works in catchy, passionate three-minute rock songs recorded with too much punch to be lo-fi, too melodically contoured to be punk. So even with its blunt-force drum rolls and jagged chording, “Dead Wrong” sneaks up on you: on one end, it packs so many short, sharp hooks, the chorus can fly right by you on the first listen. They strike a weirdly rare balance in the process, situating themselves between blue-collar indie rock and a white-collar life.
Michael Fiorentino sets the dramatic stakes (“Empire and a crown of thorns/Today you get two for one”) and reveals the all-too-familiar source of that despair: tucking in your shirt, staring at a computer, “Shaking hands til your arms fell off”. “Somos” translates roughly to “We are”, and on “Dead Wrong” they wisely commiserate with the workforce drowning rather than casting judgment, gifting a car song for people who aren’t so much working for the weekend as they are working until the inevitable bitter end.’
See you next week for my latest edition of the Riot Fest & Expo Toronto Band Spotlight. Congrats again to the weekend pass to Riot Fest & Expo Toronto and the Riot Fest & Expo Toronto Commemorative poster winners!
Riot Fest & Expo Toronto Ticket Links: