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Savages – “T.I.W.Y.G” Review

November 19, 2015 | Posted by David Hayter
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Savages – “T.I.W.Y.G” Review  

Savages arrived fully formed in 2011. Their debut single, “Husbands”, was a scything onslaught tiptoeing atop a snaking bass line. The sonics were serene in their terror, speaking to repressed rage, unspoken danger and subconscious second-guessing. The band’s sweaty and debaunched live show certainly didn’t disappoint. Savages cut nihilistic silhouettes poking through an opaque wall of artificial smoke; lit by an occasional blast of piercing, antiseptic white light. The overall effect was tremendous. Savages possessed a power that swam under the skin and made teeth rattle with barely contained vitriol.

Jehnney Beth and co’s debut was so perfectly realized that the idea of a follow up LP feels alien. Like little known pioneers For The Carnation or Young Marble Giants, Savages seemed destined to immaculately arrive and then silently depart. Thank goodness they haven’t, because Savages, the ongoing concern, appear to be going from strength to strength. Excellent comeback single “The Answer” shifted the band’s ethos away from ferocious contrast and towards bruising textures – new track “T.I.W.Y.G” follows in that vein.

Savages still seem routed somewhere between 1976 and 1982, but the immediacy of Beth’s vocals and Gemma Thompson’s tubular guitar gives “T.I.W.Y.G” an urgency that shakes off the cobwebs of cozy nostalgia. The chorus is an absolute winner; supplying the kind of hook 90s dropouts, 70s punks and fresh face kids will relish screaming aloud. The brilliant juxtaposition of the fuzzed out (but lightening paced) groove and the clean lead guitar work gives “T.I.W.Y.G” a bristling internal tension. The two conflicting sounds briefly combine as the band enter interstellar overdrive at the end of each chorus cycle.

The track is kicked up a level when Savages slow things down. Offering a dark dwelling respite, Beth circles the wagons and sumptuously stews, before the guitars begin to punch and a snappy pre-choruses peppers the listener with addictive little jabs. If you’ve been waiting for a rock band to throw your weight behind and surrender your body to, then look no further. Whatever you do: do not sleep on Savages.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Savages are not one hit wonders, nor are they one trick ponies. This hauntingly tense and potentially murderous post-punk ensemble might have released a fully realized debut album, but, if "The Answer" and "T.I.W.Y.G" are anything to go by, they are more than capable of expanding remit and surpassing their previous best. Their new track, which screams "This Is What You Get If You Mess With Love", is perhaps the band's most direct to date. Taking the pummelling textures of "The Answer" as at starting point and engaging sonic overdrive. Despite the frenzied pacing, Savages manage to milk the grizzly-groove/tubular-lead contrast for all it's worth as Jehnny belts out full fledged, undisguised, hook. Remarkably, there's still time for the band to hit the reset button and solemnly naval gaze for a few seconds before exploding back into life for one final chorus. Retrospective or not, "T.I.W.Y.G" is properly dynamic rock music; it's time expectations were raised ahead of Savages' sophomore LP.

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Savages, David Hayter