In the ascent of the Sub Pop record label in 1990, “Louder Than Love” by Soundgarden was the flagbearer during this time.  The Afghan Whigs, which were formed partially from two of the members serving time in jail for disorderly conduct, tried to make the most grotesque album lyrically, while helping the Seattle grunge movement surge in 1990.  The album “Up In It” seemed to be the middle finger to groups like Firehouse, Warrant, and Skid Row, while pioneering a movement that groups like My Chemical Romance, Queens Of The Stone Age, The National, and The Hold Steady would cite as major influences.

The Afghan Whigs incorporate some offensiveness and shock value into “Up In It” with the two opening tracks entitled “Retarded” and “White Trash Party”.  They take strange social commentary takes on bullying, issues with incest in “Hey Cuz”, and addiction in “Amphetamines And Coffee”, throw a tongue-in-cheek twist while making the listener think at the same time.  The guitar chords are not complex, yet they pack a punch, and the bass is somewhat funky, which is certainly the driving force of the rhythm section.  Greg Dulli’s vocals showcase his angst and struggles with addictions while sounding like his voice is coated with non-filtered cigarettes and a fifth of Jack Daniels.

This album is somewhat disturbing and grotesque, yet The Afghan Whigs paint a picture of self-loathing, and issues with angst and addiction in order to create an album that is polarizing, yet a pioneering album in the 1990’s grunge movement.  This album led them to their first major break, and that was a nationwide tour with Mudhoney.  Based on the rhythm section and arrangements, Madness To Creation rates this 8 out of 10 stars.  Here is the track listing.

  1.  Retarded
  2.  White Trash Party
  3.  Hated
  4.  Southpaw
  5.  Amphetamines And Coffee
  6.  Hey Cuz
  7.  You My Flower
  8.  Son of the South
  9.  I Know Your Little Secret
  10.  Big Top Halloween
  11.  Sammy
  12.  In My Town
  13.  I Am The Sticks

Fans can pick up a copy of “Up In It” by The Afghan Whigs via Amazon here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.