With razor cut eyes and short sharp hits of post-punk prowess, Savages burst onto the scene last year and ever since we have been awaiting the album. With art driven sounds of blackened 80’s riffs and droning bass and drums we receive Silence Yourself the debut album from one of Britain’s most exciting bands.
With such a buzz around the band it must’ve been hard not to be distracted but Silence Yourself is a call to arms, a rallying cry fronted by a banshee band of post modern suffragettes. Decisively post-punk; that most indecisive of genres, is definitely at the core of Savages music. A core that has inspired critics and cynics to brand it ‘Ian Curt-ish’. The live act, however is something truly to behold and was the thing that caught most people’s attention. Their performances since have all been as ferocious and feisty as the first, with this in mind the debut album released on Matador Records, was always going to be tricky.
Opening track Shut Up after the haunting introductionbecomes as punchy as a football hooligan on speed and continues to pound away right ’til the end. The album generally continues in this vein, keeping an intense yet intellectual tone. That is until the Byronesque tracks of Strife and Waiting for a Sign where Beth comes into her own.
Lead singer Jehnny Beth is the driving force throughout the album as her vocals display a range of shrieks and wails interspersed with soft tone and quick wit. One thing is for sure though, the vocals aren’t the only pieces of this puzzle. Ayse Hassan’s bass can at times entwine itself around Beth’s vocals and are a pneumatic presence throughout. This coupled with the tom-bass heavy drums of Fay Milton and Gemma Thompson’s sharp, stabbing distorted guitar, Savages are keeping true to their fire-in-the-eye live performances.
This ferocity is apparent throughout the album and with tracks like City’s Full and She Will they display mindful aggression, targeting everything with the cold eyes of culture killers. Silence Yourself is a dip into the darker side of modern society as Savages look to confront not only politics, sexism and prejudice but technology.
The band recently, even asked audiences in Seattle to not put the gig on to social media as it was killing the smoking atmosphere of their fiery live shows. Simplicity seems key for this London quartet and Beth was known to say that making music was “less about adding than subtracting” as the band looked to reduce the music down to it’s core.
That core is clearly apparent in Husbands, which is the stand out track of the album; a punishing tom laden cry of misogyny and whispering punk attitude, as the band announce themselves as serious artists.
Husbands sums up what this album and this band are all about; an intellectual, dark assault on society. As dangerous as a killer and as blunt as the bat she’s holding; Savages have had a swing and they’ve got themselves a bone breaking hit.