Savages – Silence Yourself (2013)
Savages are a London-based post-punk band that have entered an anachronistic scene with this, their debut album. The all-female group caught my attention on one of the rare occasions when I listen to the radio. I was listening to BBC Radio 6 and after nodding my head and smiling with approval to Public Image Ltd, I was treated to a track that I hadn’t heard before, and I thought it was god. My immediate impression was that this was a Lydia Lunch track that I hadn’t come across, but it was Savages.
Their album cover and website offer up manifestos of sort, but while the aesthetic is undeniably important in the post-punk/goth culture, the music is most important to me and, frankly, Silence Yourself is brilliant.
The vocals really make this album; singer Jehnny Beth, to me, sounds like the perfect mix of Siouxie Sioux, PJ Harvey and Lydia Lunch and has a passing resemblance to Ian Curtis on stage, while the music is gloriously rich and deep. Stark solid drum rhythms underpin, at times, noisy post-punk. Big guitars drive on tracks like Strife and Waiting For A Sign, while Dead Nature is an dark instrumental piece. It would fit so perfectly next to your Bauhaus, your Cure, your Siouxie, and your Sisters; despite entering the scene 33 years after it began, they sound so authentic.
An interesting diversion, which jarred a little on first listen is the closer, Marshal Dear; piano led with a distinctively more jazzy feel, including a dark sax solo towards the end. Jarred on the first listen only, because it is a great track, and shows great versatility. If the goth thing doesn’t work out, there’s a dark jazz field out there to move into.
Overall, I loved it; time to dig out the black nail varnish and guyliner.
Favourite tracks: City’s Full, Strife, Marshal Dear
Spotify link: Savages – Silence Yourself