One of the most refreshing rock albums in a while, Mission Control is the second by Athens, Georgia trio The Whigs. To record their first on a shoestring, the band infamously bought equipment on eBay, and then resold it when they were finished. This second album, on Dave Matthews' label ATO, is a feast for the ears.
Like some glorious Creation mash-up of Oasis and Teenage Fanclub (think Bandwagonesque and What's The Story), the band bring delicious melody and perfectly judged scale to their sound. The band change around a few styles (including one Clash soundalike), but each brings a new facet that makes Mission Control such a sustainably great listen. Parker Gispert is a fantastic lead man - combining great rhythm riffs with a well-developed sense of dynamics, on top of Julian Dorio's excellent drumming core.
You'll hear the best bits of bands like INXS, Buffalo Tom, and the Hoodoo Gurus in this short disc, but The Whigs are like none of those bands. This is good, clean fun rock, bouncing its way between garage, punk and anthemic - just listen to I Got Ideas for a sense of the energy. REM's hometown has pitched up another big hitter - The Whigs have to be huge. Album of the week.