1965 – Launch
White rock has always referenced black street rhythms for much-needed grit and grease. Unfortunately, all that caucazoid guitar slingers not named the Beastie Boys seem able to glean from modern-day Afro-American culture are a singular hip-hop rhythm and ridiculously wide-legged trousers. Thank Jah for the return of Cincinnati’s Afghan Whigs, who’ve always had a much healthier pipeline into musical miscegenation.
Greg Dulli and crew have concerned themselves from Day One with ramming SuperFuzz BigMuff guitar power into the lover-man smooth soul groove of, say, Marvin Gaye in his “Sexual Healing”/”Let’s Get It On” mode, or Smokey Robinson when he’d ooze a seductive gem like “Cruising.” They were the antidote to flannel-shirted lip-dragging and anti-stardom during the alterna-rock blitz, which makes them perfect for a time when the world seems to ache for rock star glamour, for groovy tunes shot through with unbridled sexuality, for musical anti-depressants to counter six years of Marshall-amped public therapy. And 1965 slinks and crunches like Teddy Pendergrass given a humbucking implant, or even a less-embarrassing, less-metallic Aerosmith getting on the good foot. And hey! Don’t we all need a CD that’ll not only make us bang our heads, but might even get us laid?
By Tim Stegall