Still on a catch-up with a CD purchased at my last gig of 2011.
‘Acclimatize’ is the debut LP from Perth (Scotland) band Whigs and Rakes and it seems only to have been released last month.
It’s undoubtedly one of these modern rock records which makes it good to hear a female voice at its core – even more so when it’s an often distinctively Scottish female voice when you might expect most bands to go for the generic mid-Atlantic accent.
As such, there’s an (almost) inevitable comparison to Sleater-Kinney begging to be knocked into the open goal (although perhaps the more accessible Wild Flag is closer to the mark). But whilst that might be true of some of the songs on the record, there’s a lightness of touch displayed on others to contrast to some of the heavier rocking tunes.
So whilst the heavier ‘Swim’, ‘Take’ and ‘Blinking’ may stand out on first listen, it’s on the likes of ‘Feel The Cold’ (which at times sound uncannily like Bostonians Big Dipper) and ‘My Jaw”that Whigs and Rakes demonstrate their versatility and range.
Best of the lot though may be the penultimate tune on the record ‘Stairs’ which feels almost wistful – until the bass drum and guitars come crashing in for an epic conclusion that recalls Idlewild at their most anthemic.
If there’s a weakness about the record, it’s that at 14 songs it feels a couple of songs too long for me as a record (although I guess taht ‘too many songs’ is unlikely to put many folk off!).
Ultimately though ‘Acclimatize’ is a record which has been growing on me with every listen and is a satisfying marriage of guitars, noise and melody which undoubtedly has the potential to grab a wider audience in the course of 2012.
To support the LP, Whigs and Rakes have the following dates lined up:
25th January – West Port Bar, Arbroath (acoustic)
2nd February – Bar Bloc, Glasgow
12th February – The Doghouse, Dundee (supporting Aerials Up)
11th March – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow
Listen to ‘Stairs’ from the LP here:
Buy the CD or download the ablum from the Whigs and Rakes Bandcamp.