Savages return! Second album Adore Life is just as ferocious as their debut, but the intervening touring has allowed them to be even better at it. Jenny Beth’s lyrics and vocal performance are scouringly energetic, especially in the particularly relentless single and leading track ‘The Answer’. Out on Matador.
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To be honest I didn’t believe Savages debut album. I didn’t believe that it was anything more than a load of Siouxie and the Banshees exhaust fumes re-badged for 2013. This record is certainly much more original.
They may have the appearance and insular nature of a modern day rework of the Slits but lets not forget that this is a rock band. Opener ‘The Answer’ pounds like an off kilter drill, the pummelling guitars boring their way into your skull and though ‘Evil’ promises little at first it has a lovely wracked chorus to make everything worthwhile. ’Sad Person’ is a rare mis-step however, a pub circuit rocker that lacks the oddness that soon comes after on the evocative title track. Front person Jehnny Beth is as earnest as they get but sings in a kind of stuttered Germanic voice (which helps mask some of the clunk) whilst the music creeps along veering from Joy Division atmosphere with a chorus that could have come from the pen of Morrissey.
From thereon the band seem to find their feet and conversely as they try less hard to please they produce more interesting work. They have too much spit and polish to really be labelled as post punk but they do try out different textures and rhythms - on ‘In Need Something New’ they encapsulate the distorted, pounding rhythms of early PIL's saturated rock music and the cascading feedback at times could lead you to believe something great is happening here. This is the best I’ve heard Savages sound - it’s an incendiary pulsating one noter but marries the rest of the album in that the stranger it gets the better it becomes.
A few moribund fillers aside, this is a strident second effort.
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