London quartet Savages played their first show 4 years ago.  Since then the all-female post-punk band released some singles then a much acclaimed 2013 album titled “Silence Yourself”.  The band immediately garnered a lot of buzz through their singles and their raucous live performances at high visibility shows including CMJ Music Marathon in NY and Later…With Jools Holland in the U.K.  Savages’ sound has comparisons to Siouxsie and the Banshees, PJ Harvey, Public Image Ltd., and Swans.  They wear their U.K. influences heavily on their sleeves, you can hear that they’re definitely not from the U.S.  I enjoy their modern take on the U.K. punk sound, and while you hear influences from other bands, Savages take these elements to help create their own sound.  They have a dark and brooding intensity that is always lying there under the surface, bringing some mystery and uncertainness into their music.  At times it sounds like they’re barely keeping it from derailing, which is a good thing.  Their sound is not safe and overly crafted; they are an antithesis to bands like Coldplay (not dissing Coldplay, they’re just a convenient example that most can relate to).
I wasn’t overly impressed with their debut album a few years ago, but I only listened to it once or twice.  I will have to revisit it now, because their sophomore album “Adore Life” which came out last week is really good.  It caught me by surprise since I was blasé regarding their first album.  What they offer is the ability to deftly move in and out of slower and faster pieces.  They can also turn the intensity up or down at the drop of a dime, pulling you in or pushing you away as they see fit.  I remember another all-female band that released a similar great album last January – Sleater-Kinney.  If Savages “Adore Life” can end up standing right next to “No Cities To Love” that would bode very well for this London band.  Here’s three songs to check out from “Adore Life”.
“T.I.W.Y.G.” – This song is one of the more intense and faster paced tracks on the album, showing off their punk influences.  The song starts off with some distortion before being engulfed by a throbbing bass line.  The band kicks in with a howling intensity and vocalist Jehnny Beth stays right with the band with her rapid-fire vocals.  As the song continues to wail away, suddenly the band slows it way down for a bit only to bring it back on even harder before the song ends.  This track is a good example of their intensity and how they can turn it on and off with relative ease.

“Slowing Down The World” – This track is an example of their slower, more brooding style.  Again, there’s a nice bass line that drives the song, complemented by a wailing guitar.  The entire band is very tight, with the whole exceeding the sum of the parts.  Jehnny Beth pulls a good amount of angst with her vocals, especially on the wail she lets out almost 3 minutes into the song.

“Sad Person” – This song shows another different part of the band, there’s more of the PiL influence with this track.  Lyrics like “Love is a disease, the strongest addiction I know”,“what happens in your brain, is the same as a rush of cocaine”and “the more you have, the more you crave” gives you an idea about what this song touches upon.  This track is another example of the craft and musicianship that can be found throughout their new album.

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