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Savages - Adore Life (Album Review)

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 Written by Graeme Marsh

To their credit, the London-based noisemongers Savages delivered on their early promise, and huge hype, when their debut ‘Silence Yourself’ broke in 2013. Blending goth flourishes with the icy guitars of post-punk, tribal drums and wailing vocals, they bore more than a passing resemblance to an updated Siouxsie And The Banshees; their sound coalescing into an album of exhilarating aggression.

‘Adore Life’ appears less than three years on, with its cover declaring defiance with its clenched fist. What lies within shows a band that’s already evolving, with the rubbery basslines and spiky guitars that drove tracks like Shut Up and Strife on their debut replaced with more controlled bursts of power.

Manic drumming, amid a cacophonous wall of noise, greets you on album opener The Answer and the incessant bludgeoning continues through the thunderous Evil. The pace is breakneck for the excellent Sad Person before Gemma Thompson’s thrilling guitar work fully shapes the track.

But this time round there is also more emphasis on slower, brooding moments that seem in total contrast to the vibrant energy of their most intense cuts. Adore draws you into its clutches like a siren before pummelling the senses through to its conclusion. Slowing Down The World possesses a slightly funky beat due to a pronounced bassline. Album closer Mechanics also walks a different path, winding down to an emotional conclusion of comparative calm.

“I need something new in my ears,” sings Jehnny Beth as I Need Something New creeps into existence alongside howling guitars and thumping drums, the noise then exploding at its apocalyptic climax. ‘Adore Life’ reaches its peak with the adrenaline rush of T.I.W.Y.G., a burst of pure energy that matches the most exciting moments of ‘Silence Yourself’.

That said, as a whole album two isn’t quite at the same level as its world-conquering predecessor. It clearly shows that Savages are no one-trick pony, but the aggressive dynamics that thrilled are tempered by comparison. It’s another vital album, though, and one that suggests this band are likely to be around for a considerable time to come.

Savages Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows

Thu February 18 2016 - BEXHILL ON SEA De La Warr Pavilion
Fri February 19 2016 - CAMBRIDGE Cambridge Junction
Sun February 21 2016 - GLASGOW Art School
Mon February 22 2016 - MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Tue February 23 2016 - LEEDS Irish Centre
Thu March 17 2016 - LONDON London Roundhouse

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