Label: Sub Pop Records
Cincinnati's Afghan Whigs are crucial to the birth of '90s alternative rock. The first band signed to Sub Pop Records without roots in the Pacific Northwest, they rocked blustery disenchantment as intensely as any of their Seattle brethren. There's an effortless precision in vocalist Greg Dulli's libidinous groans and howls of slacker frustration; his lyrics are full of stifling dissatisfaction and boozy philosophy ("drink it, smoke it, stick it in"). It's all held together by roughed-up rock heightened by lead guitarist Rick McCollum's slick and sleazy riffage.