Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Savages "Adore Life" (2016)

London based group Savages are Post-Punk four piece band who were put on my radar by Henry Rollins. Ive already heard reviews that this record isn't on par with their debut released three years ago but this is where I wanted to start. A fair few songs from this record were played at a concert I watched on youtube. That alone convinced me there was something special about this band who labeled as "Post-Punk revival" have the sound and spirit of that era coursing through all aspects of their music, with exception to the recording quality that makes no attempt to downgrade the fidelity.

This record comes across in tones of grey, deep dark blues and browns, muted colors that reflect the records pale and grim tone. Bleak and distant on the outside much energy, life and charisma rumbles within and flourishes through the dark, drab walls they are contained within. Its a unique chemistry of contrast and subversion, like a limbo or purgatory suspended between two states. This feeling runs through the entire record which is brimming with identity and originality as not a passing moment feel stale or repetitive. Its organic and in a state of perpetual growth.

The group approach their respective instruments like weapons of noise with whaling feedback loops used for atmosphere, crashing thunderous distortions and the sounds of pick sliding down the strings soaked in reverb paint dense atmospheres. A simple riff isn't enough and beside the guitars expanded sound the baselines rock hard with bold, rumbling, burgeoning lines that make there-self known at every moment. To often in music the base mirror guitars but not here where we get the fullest extent of the base holding its own ground and being a crucial part of how the songs come together.

The drums are equally in a creative air, each moment interesting and inventive. The kits sound lacks reverb which works well against the mammoth guitars and the snare compression gives the harder rolls some serious punch and power. In front of it all singer Jehnny Beth brings a subdued attitude through her soft voice with a delivery that doesn't strive for big notes or showoff theatrics but finds a poetic, artistic expression with the occasional scream buried under the other instruments. On "Surrender" she shows her range with a passionate delivery for a memorable hook on the records best song. "Adore Life" is stunning for its variety, consistency and characteristics that demand a full play through from the listener, which each song offering up something you cant pass on.

Favorite Song: Surrender
Rating: 8/10