London’s all female quartet ‘Savages’ are really what it says on the tin: savage…
‘Silence Yourself’ is the band’s debut, which was nominated for the 2013 Mercury Awards. I could throw out endless comparisons but the truth is they’ve taken a well worn, well done sound and style and made it, not only their own, not fresh and relevant, a skill not many bands actually possess. It’s violent, honest and raw.
The album opens with an audio clip from a vintage sounding film. It soon explodes into the fierce post-punk perfection called ‘Shut Up’. Gemma Thompson’s guitar wails and screams, Ayse Hassan’s deep bass bounces and Fay Milton’s drums pound like an enraged frantically beating heart while Jenny Beth’s passionate cry criticizes you, “The worlds a dead sorry hole”. The entire album pretty much continues this sound but each time twisting it slightly. ‘I Am Here’ begins with growling feedback which continues to echo menacingly in the background as thunderous bass leads, with sharp piercing guitar and clear fearless vocals; the whole song shouts accusingly at you; while chorus the is pure chaos. While ‘Strife’ has slow purposeful almost military drums with growling bass but it’s this distorted commanding guitar and electrified vocals that dominate. ‘No Face’ and ‘Hit Me’ are simply insanely fast.
‘Waiting for a sign’ is slower and threatening in an entirely different way. It’s dark, suggestive and melodic. A stand out track. It cries and howls with patient hammering drums whilst feedback and echoed screams circle the background. Singles ‘She Will’ and ‘Husbands’ are prime examples of Savages’ raw power, skill and witty lyrics. ‘She Will’ is fast, with spiky guitar, deep prominent bass and a chorus that erupts into chaos with Beth’s demanding cry ever being the focus. ‘Husbands’ likes to suddenly switches from threatening bass to guitar lead chaos and back almost at the blink of an eye. It’s frantic and powerful, frightening even as Beth becomes increasingly wild and agitated.
The album is aggressive and emotional with this amazing energy and these stark honest lyrics. This is punk; it’s raw, commanding and intelligent. It questions and shouts at society instead of pretending everything’s fine. Every instrument has its own clear voice while also being able to unite into a wall of sound.
Concluding song ‘Marshal Dear’ is calmer with beautiful piano and Beth’s blunt lyrics passionately yet sarcastic crooned, this contrasts perfectly with the Joy Division-esque bass and soaring razor sharp guitar. Very surprisingly the song and album ends with mournful saxophone, and yet, it works.
Overall it’s scary, intelligent and pure Post-Punk brilliance. The best bit though? There is truly no other band doing this, as well as Savages right now and it’s exciting.
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