Founded in Cincinnati, OH back in 1988, the Afghan Whigs have long been a sort of cult favorite band — music journalists and musicians in the know have loved them for a sound that employed elements of savage, blistering hard rock and classic soul, with lyrics that revolved around frontman Greg Dulli’s obsessions and his seemingly wounded psyche.
Featuring the band’s current lineup of Dulli and John Curley, guitarists Dave Rosser and Jon Skibic, multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson, and drummer Cully Symington, the new album features contributions from members of the band’s previous lineups and a host of friends from a number of bands including Van Hunt, Mark McGuire (Emeralds), Usher’s musical director Johnny “Natural” Najera, Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys), Clay Tarver (Bullet LaVolta, Chavez), Dave Catching (QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal), Patrick Keeler (the Raconteurs, Greenhornes), Ben Daughtrey (Squirrel Bait), Joseph Arthur, and a host of others, Do To The Beast, which Sub Pop Records released last April was the first recorded output from the band in over 15 years. Interestingly, the album also was a return to the band’s original label home, as they were the first act outside of the Northwest to be signed to the famed indie rock label.
The album’s first single “The Lottery” is almost prototypical Afghan Whigs in the sense that it’s comprised of four-on-the-floor drums, swirling electronics, blistering guitars, rooted around creative mastermind, Greg Dull’s angst and bile-filled grimaced and howled lyrics – lyrics with a very visual feel, that evoke the bitter and fucked up memories of a dysfunctional relationship gone terribly sour.
However, the video focuses on the band’s sound man rocking out to the song while in the studio and then later on tour. And I can’t blame him because the song does kick ass.