savagesThe return of punk and riots seemed inevitable when this government took over. Calmly listening to acoustic folk and uplifting indie while being financially squeezed and in constant fear of redundancy, simply doesn’t tally. If you still receive as much as £10 working tax credits per month, you should seriously consider spending it on this album.

London-based Savages blazed a trail nationwide with their invigorating, energetic and raw live performances, in low capacity venues that were filled to the brim with all of the right kind of people to help fuel the hype machine. Does the album successfully capture the essence of these shows, and have they been rushed into creating an album while they are still ‘hot’? Yes it does, and no it doesn’t seem so.

‘Shut Up’ is a great way to kick off the album. A sophisticated yet dark and intriguing sample that comes from an unknown and un-Googleable source leads to a deep, dirty bassline, razor sharp guitar and pounding beat. This single may be the very reason why you’re listening to the album in the first place… so what else have they got?

‘I Am Here’ contains elements of early PJ Harvey until it builds to a raucous climax. ‘City’s Full’ maintains the momentum with unrelenting drums and a guitar that sounds not disimilar to a skilfully wielded angle grinder. The lyrics for the most part appear directed towards different people, from song to song. She’s an all or nothing kind of person, the relationships being highlighted are passionate to say the least.

‘Waiting For A Sign’ catches French actress/singer Jehnny Beth in a moment of quiet reflection, flicking through her Nick Cave and Patti Smith albums. ‘Dead Nature’ serves as a minimal interlude, lulling you into the right kind of frame of mind for ‘She Will’ – a beautifully crafted and controlled album highlight that invigorate and inspires, with it’s catchy riffs and a chorus that slaps you around the face and shakes you by the throat.

‘No Face’ is Savages at their most punk. Educated, sophisticated, art-punk at that. The chaotic ‘Hit Me’ starts like a retort to The Smiths – “oh tell me, tell me I am miserable now…” and sounds as though the band are playing in a beaten up old truck that contains tons of booze, that’s doing 80 on the motorway, with a flat tyre… or something.

‘Husbands’ is another live favourite and previous single. Without experiencing the intense gaze of the stern and intimidatingly confident singer, the repetition of key lyrics and power of her voice still manage to successfully drive the message home. The album, however, concludes in a relaxed jazzy fashion, laced with calm morbid reflection.

This eagerly awaited debut may just help to tide us over until we’re allowed to vote again. The personal pain and frustration of Jehnny’s onstage and instudio persona, along with the incredibly talented musicians around her, bring out your anarchic rebellious side. Together they offer to help release the pressure valve in an intelligently violent, controlled and rather beautiful fashion. The Sex Pistol ‘No Future’ slogan is unfortunately relevant again and the Savages are getting restless.


‘Silence Yourself’ is released on May 6th through Matador Records

Peter Rea

I like to go see fresh new music at Manchester's superb selection of smaller venues, and then share my enthusiasm.