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Saturday, 2 May 2015

Savages – Silence Yourself

I bought this album on the strength of the track that was included on the Rough Trade Counter Culture album that sounded like The Joyce Mckinney experience, a group that Evlkeith has championed valiantly over the years. However let's not make any bones about it, Savages wear their influences on their sleeves and the predominant influence is not Joyce. Essentially this sounds like a Siouxsie and the Banshees tribute band! And as such I wasn’t that sure I was even going to give it any air time on the car stereo.

But wonders will never cease; a couple of listens and I was hooked. You soon forget about the Siouxsie-ness that pervades everything and start to realise this is a quality collection of harsh, post punk ditties which take the sound forward rather than revel in the early eighties. I think it probably helps if you actively like the Banshees' back catalogue though.

The drumming is so beautifully harsh at times it takes your breath away and those tribal rhythms permeate every song to enhance the minimal distorted guitar and the howling familiar vocals. The pick of the bunch are the pummelling, relentless opener ‘Shut Up’, ‘No Face’ which sounds like X-Ray Spex at their ragged live best, and my favourite is the epic ‘She Will’ which showcases those pounding drums and Hooky style base to their maximum. Throw in the most saccharin of vocals and some soaring guitar riffs and you’re onto a serious winner.

If you have a soft spot for female vocal punk rock then you can’t go wrong with ‘Silence Yourself’. In a similar way that Elastica actually improved the Wire template, Savages have done a similar thing with the Banshees. It’s undeniably Siouxsie yet more so!   

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