The Afghan Whigs
Up In It


4.0
excellent

Review

by butcherboy USER (123 Reviews)
December 25th, 2017 | 41 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: So what, you make me hard..

VIII

In the spring of 1989, the still-raw, klutzy and punk scum-caked Cincinnati outfit Afghan Whigs became one of the only non-Midwestern acts signed by Sub Pop, the label then only beginning to gather alternative heavies, utterly unaware how in just a few years, they would become the most important pipeline of college rock to American Youth. The Whigs, even in their more brimstone, howling beginnings were still comparatively tame to the label’s roster, already showing a knack for small nuance and odd turns, something that in the coming decades would ensure their catalogue ageing far more gracefully than their tour- and now-labelmates. Up In It was the first time they’d registered on the radar of anyone except niche critics and Eastern Seaboard college introverts, the LP’s single “Retarded” charting modestly and elbowing its way into small station rotation. Dulli was yet to settle his feet firmly and lock into the groove that would then carry him with rarely-straying quality all the way through to 2017’s In Spades, and so the band’s sound thrashes every which way here; early RnB vocal affectations, melodic breaks, punkish bass and hammy 80’s bridge solos sometimes all colliding in one three-minute stretch. When it sticks the landing, like on the frenetic “Hey Cuz” or the grouchy post-punkisms of “Sammy” and “I Am the Sticks,” the Whigs’ early prowess becomes self-evident, sparkling gutter-rock that wasn’t afraid to wander away from the post-hardcore mindset that was still smashing around guitar music’s underground brigades. The album on the whole is a thorny mess, but one that should only serve to stoke the interest of anyone who’d ever gotten a group of musicians together and tried to make something happen – it’s a highly sloppy and giddily unostentatious little trip, a young band excited to be together, touring and working. “Retarded” (which figures on the band’s retrospective and still sneaks its way into their sets) aside, the pretty doom of “You My Flower” is the true highlight of Up In It, a melodic and fuzzy love plea, and the closest the Whigs skirt here to the sound that would soon become their inimitable calling card. From decidedly humble beginnings to equally unassuming present, the sordid, unbashful endurance of Dulli and the Afghan Whigs gets an early snapshot in Up In It’s dazed stagger, a record that anyone who’s ever fancied themselves a 90’s scenester needs in their vinyl crate.



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user ratings (43)
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
butcherboy
December 25th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hi..

Papa Universe
December 25th 2017


22505 Comments


"I smoke a pack a day, I hit the pipe sometimes"
Did I just find the lyrics butcherboy lives his life by?

butcherboy
December 25th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no, the lyrics I live my life by are obviously by MES - "I'm not going back to the slow life"

Papa Universe
December 25th 2017


22505 Comments


not even Siouxsie's "It's just a habit when I reach to the packet for my last cigarette..."?

butcherboy
December 25th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not even Otis redding's coffee and cigarettes..

Papa Universe
December 25th 2017


22505 Comments


not even HMHB's "When I’m pining for a cigarette, I think of all the free ones that I’d get. If I killed myself and came back as a beagle."

butcherboy
December 25th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not even that schizoid bum in Eastchester on the Pelham line who rolls cigarettes out of tobacco he pulls out of his filthy skivvies..

Papa Universe
December 25th 2017


22505 Comments


not even the misprinted pictures of aussie cigarette packets that showed laughing kids instead of rotten lungs.

butcherboy
December 25th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not even that German cigarette warning label that showed a woman longingly staring at a mother and child with the warning reading Smoking fucks the shit out of your Fallopian tubes

Papa Universe
December 25th 2017


22505 Comments


not even that old crackly-voiced guy from your neighbourhood that walks by your house grumping at all sorts of stuff like "eeeehhh, heeeeh dis eeeh *growling inhale* meeeh *snarling exhale*"

butcherboy
December 25th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not been lung cancer, dung cancer or bung cancer

Papa Universe
December 25th 2017


22505 Comments


not even Cancer the Giant Celestial Crab of Wisdom

verdant
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2017


2461 Comments


thanks for this lovely little christmas present butcher!! great write-up, need to get on the whigs soon

butcherboy
December 25th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cheers, jack.. and merry turkey day to all you heathens!!

Papa Universe
December 25th 2017


22505 Comments


is that kwazoo or something? i can't remember your western festivities..

butcherboy
December 25th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's saint gift-card eve

Papa Universe
December 25th 2017


22505 Comments


i thought it was walmart kerfuffle celebration

bgillesp
December 25th 2017


7553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review! Big thanks for getting me into this band butch!

ramon.
December 25th 2017


3791 Comments


hey butch would you have pity sex with me sometime

butcherboy
December 25th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

gill, cheers my man.. happy to do it



cryp, you pick your favourite alley, I'll be there in a flash



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