Review #158: Savages – Adore Life

Artist – Savages
Album – Adore Life (2016)

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/6c3UkztmOmW2GtunSNN3NZ

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Savages are an all female post-punk band from London, UK. The group formed in 2011 and consist of Jehnny Beth – vocals, Gemma Thompson – guitar, Ayse Hassan – bass and Fay Milton – drums. Usually it takes a band some time to start becoming truly recognised, however Savages just two years after their formation were nominated for a Mercury Prize and BBC Sound of 2013, obviously displaying a lot of potential. Savages name comes from the members love of such literature as ‘Lord of the Flies’, a book displaying how in rough circumstances civilised human beings can easily digress to a SAVAGE state to survive. Savages are now ready to deliver their sophomore album ‘Adore Life’.

Just a couple of reviews back I looked at another all female punk-ish rock band in ‘Hinds’. In many ways I think Hinds and Savages new albums are very similar in tone/style, however as I said the aggression/anger in Hinds new album felt subdued and kind of shallow, the anger/aggression displayed on Savages new album feels raw and authentic. ‘Adore Life’ begins with an overdriven guitar simply thrashing away at the same chord, a sound that describes this album as a whole, simple with passion. Savages are described by most outlets as ‘post-punk’, and of course there is a lot of that about them. this album’s sound however blurs the line of ‘post-punk’, incorporating odd but interesting moments, such as country/blues guitar licks and atmospheric tracks solely relying on a the rhythm section and vocals. As well as the diverse composition and style of playing from the instruments, lead vocalist Jehnny Beth’s tone and delivery adds something a little different to the mix. Beth’s style is often droney, however incorporates these nuances in its delivery that are kind of folk-ish, with a rock twist, being quite reminiscent of Florence Welch, The Staves or even Janis Joplin.

‘Adore Life’ is a fantastic album, authentic in the style it is aiming for, but still with diversity and innovation that develops the sound, rather than being an odd intrusion.

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