Whig out on new CDs

Cincinnati’s Afghan Whigs never became more than a cult band, which is strange considering their blend of heavy guitars and a melodic sensibility grounded in soul could’ve been a blueprint for much of the grunge rock that would follow.

Maybe some folks will discover them anew with today’s release of "Unbreakable," an 18-track retrospective that includes many essential cuts and some genre broadening nods (like singer Greg Dulli’s take on "Come See About Me").

Other interesting bits about Tuesday releases:

* There are new CDs by both Big & Rich ("Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace") and the duo’s coat-tailer, Cowboy Troy ("Black in the Saddle"). Big Kenny and John Rich even tackle a cover of AC/DC’s "You Shook Me All Night Long."

* Marilyn Manson’s new "Eat Me Drink Me" includes cuts like "Mutilation Is the Most Sincere Form of Flattery," (awww, shucks) and "If I Was Your Vampire."

* Paul McCartney pooh-poohs major labels for his new disc, cheekily titled "Memory Almost Full." It’s out on the new Starbucks label (yes, as in the coffee chain), and it’s getting great reviews.