by Chris Familton
London quartet Savages have been the subject of much anticipation and critical discourse regarding their debut album Silence Yourself and the good news is that they live up to much of the hype.
The band don’t trade in anything new or mine any hitherto unknown musical ideas but they show an astute understanding of minimal input/maximum effect when it comes to song construction and production aesthetic. Influences are generally bold and obvious across Silence Yourself with Jehnny Beth ghosting the vocal sounds of Siouxsie Sioux, Karen O, PJ Harvey and Ari Up of The Slits and the music taking in all manner of post punk precedents like Gang of Four, Joy Division and Rowland S. Howard’s guitar shapes. What sets Savages apart from other copyists is their ability to harness atmosphere via sparse instrumentation as in Waiting on a Sign and Marshal Dear and then transform the mood into one of brittle urgency on the nervy rush of Husbands. It is one of the album’s highlights with Gemma Thompson’s slashing guitars eviscerating any indie dance-floor sheen the song may have had. The other go-to track is She Will that posits the band as transatlantic sisters to Interpol, mining similar dark kinetic rock vibes.
Many bands suffer from overt premature praise but like Interpol, The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Savages have backed it up with a very strong and confident debut album built on energy, drama and intensity.
this review was first published on Fasterlouder