I’m a Soldier

The Afghan Whigs, one of the greatest bands to never blow up huge, have released their first new song in almost ten years.  “I’m a Soldier” is one of two new songs recorded for the upcoming Whigs retrospective Unbreakable.  You can listen to it now on their myspace site.

The Whigs were a force to be reckoned with when they were around.  Certainly the best live show I’ve ever seen.  They crammed more power and spectacle into a 300 seaer club than most arena acts can pull off with an unlimited budget.  From Dulli’s smoke-fueled monologues to Rick McCollum’s seemingly heroin-fueled slide guitar (I once watched him play an almost three hour show without opening his eyes), they ruled the stage from start to finish.

And their music… wow.  They were the first band to really mean something to me.  I remember listening to “Debonair” for the first time and realizing how powerful music could be.  I remember playing a loop of “What Jail is Like” and their covers of “Little Girl Blue” and “Dark End of the Street” for my girlfriend at the time for mood purposes.  It worked, too.  I played the same songs for days after she broke up with me.

For a long stretch of time, it seemed every band I enjoyed was destined to disband within a year or so.  Hum, Triple Fast Action, Letters to Cleo, Cold Water Flat… tey all just died away.  Nothing hurt as much as reading the press release about the Whigs’ break-up.  I was never going to see them live again.  I’d never get to buy another of their incredible records (masterpieces filled with more sex, angst, and joy than you can shake a stick at).  I was crushed, something I never thought a band could do to me.

Unbreakable remedies some of that.  Though Dulli has said there won’t be any reunion shows, I still have this little slice I can pick up and take with me.  That counts for something, I guess.