Taking The Afghan Whigs "Black Love" For A Spin

The original reason for starting this blog was to pass along my excitement for some of the music I've purchased while record shopping.  More specifically, the music I found in (what many of us refer to as) the cut out bins.  Now aptly titled "The Dollar Bin."

When I moved to Chicago almost eight years ago, one of my greatest joys was record shopping.  But as most of you know, record stores are a thing of the past.  When I first got here you could get CD's used for around $7.99, and some promos for $1.99.  Now, I am getting them all for a dollar.  So, it became an addiction to sift through the bins, seeing what had been sold off or discarded.  You wouldn't believe what I found, and that's why I wanted to share my excitement.  I discovered a lot of new bands, replaced older CD's that were stolen/lost, and added some things to my collection that are out of print, or that I could never afford.  Welcome to the Cut Out Kid, thanks for reading.

So, we go back to where we started with The Afghan Whigs Black Love.

At the time this was released, I was falling out of love with the band.  Not only did I think this record was overproduced, but I became a hater.  A hater because a tiny Sub Pop band, I thought I discovered, was now popular.  Yes, once on a spring break whim, we saw this little grunge outfit tear a hole in a Florida (Orlando) dive.  It was amazing and life changing.  Let me explain.  The sound was crystal clear and we could touch the band.  After seeing them live, I was forever changed.  I wanted to be in a band, and rock like that.  I got the bug.

The Afghan Whigs just released their third and best record at this point, and the four of us in attendance claimed ownership.  Just a bunch of young teens at the time of the Congregation tour, we fell in love.  Almost five years later and now in college, I thought Greg Dulli and Co. were going soft.  I barely gave their latest record Black Love enough listens, before writing  it off as bland.  I was wrong.  I overlooked this album. Thank god for the cut outs.

Like anything in life, things have to change.  For people, and for bands.  With fame comes new opportunity.  Nicer studios, bigger productions, but this doesn't necessarily mean things get worse.  I'll start with "Honkey's Ladder."  Initially I thought it  sounded too safe, and too clean.  Now I know I was too critical.  It rocks like anything these dudes have ever done.  Chunky guitars, crazy leads and big hooks.  Go back and revisit if you haven't climbed this ladder.  Dulli's angst is still there, and the sound is intact.

Check out "Going To Town," and all of it's funkiness.  Something about this tune reminds me of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."  "Blame" continues down the same path, but feels more like a love song when you get to the chorus.  Listen to "Double Day," and you start to hear "I'm Your Slave" from Congregation.  Finally, "Summer's Kiss" is refreshing.  That poppy-ness that they continually hint at, comes shining through in all it's glory.

I will listen to this album a lot more, now that I snagged a brand-spanking new copy, still in the shrink wrap, for $1.  I'm glad I got the opportunity to revisit, and for this reason, I write.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Leave a comment