The Whigs, ‘Give ‘Em All a Big Fat Lip’ (ATO)
This Athens, Georgia band is probably amazing in small clubs, where the energy that sparks its debut album can be stoked to a blaze. Fat Lip comes on as solid and preternaturally tuneful without too closely aping its influences — the Kinks, the Replacements, and Guided by Voices. But it thrives more on pluck than unforgettable songs, and sometimes that’s enough: “Violet Furs” and “Don’t Talk Anymore” have a crackling charm. Still, the Whigs mostly feel like runners-up you can root for, rather than would-be champs.
On SPIN.com:Artist of the Day: The Whigs