Like any music fan, I spent a considerable amount of time in the week before I went on vacation planning and compiling iPod playlists for any type of situation/mood I could think I might find myself in. I like country, but let’s be real, Porter Wagner doesn’t need to be in your ear as you go over the edge of a black diamond. He is, however, perfect for the Apres Ski hot tub time. Then, the day before I leave, The Whipsaws’ new cd, 60 Watt Avenue, shows up in my mailbox. I had been eagerly anticipating the album, but assumed it would come while I was gone (I like Miles of Music as much as the next person, but let’s be real…their shipping is rather slow). With no real time to mix it into my playlists, I just riped it and tossed it on the iPhone. I may as well have deleted the “while riding” playlist and put this right into my Essential Listening playlist.
The Whipsaws are a rock and roll band from Anchorage, Alaska. There’s no shortage of people who will refer to them as an alt.country act based on their country debut, Ten Day Bender, but 60 Watt Avenue is a rock and roll album sans a subgenre hyphen. Sounding like an early version of the Drive-by Truckers without that early Trucker twang, they have released a great bar room rocker of an album. Apparently, with 60 Watt Avenue they have decided to quit their day jobs and give their rock and roll dreams a go. Personally, I think they made the right album for it. Featuring the production of John Agnello (Son Volt, The Hold Steady, Sonic Youth) and an appearance by Mr. Tim Easton, the cd contains honest, from the cuff lyrics, backed by the type of bar room vibe that will catch the attention of people just there to drink. They’ll be touring the lower 48 for the bulk of 2008, check ’em out if they get to your neck of the woods. I know I will.