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The Whigs

Mission Control (ATO)

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Like R.E.M., the Whigs call Athens, Georgia, home. And like R.E.M., they're southerners who really don't make much of their southernism. Sure, there are signs they grew up below the Mason-Dixon Line: frontman Parker Gispert's occasional drawl, gutbucket riffs, and epic songs, which sound like they have about 150 years of history behind them. But Mission Control is mostly about the big, bad hooks Gispert and crew generate for nearly 40 solid minutes. Guitars ring like My Morning Jacket's, and Gispert works his way toward a raspy howl that feeds into producer Rob Schnapf's (Beck, Guided by Voices) gleaming overcoat, which boosts poppy songs like "I Got Ideas," "Hot Bed," and "Like a Vibration." This is glistening indie-rock with the South's seal of approval.

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