Savages’ debut album may have just peeked into the UK Top 20 yet its lasting impression upon the industry equates to so much more than a chart position. Their all female lineup was not the main reason to pay attention (see The Staves, Warpaint etc) it was the feminine ferocity they presented upon ‘Silence Yourself’. A band born in its own self created shadow, they convincingly translated the tumultuous basement settings of their early gigs on the demanding double A side ‘Husbands’/’Flying To Berlin’ and the eleven track debut that elevated Savages to a worldwide cult status. This felt appropriate as they reprised the punk genre which coexisted on the strength of faithful following.
So the fanbase is ready, a smattering of live performances have been held and the material of ‘Adore’ is ready to be completely consumed and captivated. ‘The Answer’ begins in structure near identical to the debut yet there is a notable clarity on Jehnny Beth’s which has a menacing melody as it rises and falls musing ‘if you don’t love me, don’t love anybody’. ‘Evil’ also showcases the Siouxsie Sioux style vocal as Beth is very much the commander and the instrumental is designed to support her direction. ‘Slowing Down the World’ has fragmented Bowie ‘Young Americans’ era style guitar riffs and a more dis-attached structure than most of the tracks featured on this record.
After a three track barrage of the expected, Savages offer an early mournful interlude in the form of title track, musing on the question ‘is it human to adore life?’. Its downcast Joy Division structure is not what makes this track so funereal, it is Jehnny’s delivery where she indulges in halting the bloodthirstiness of her raging sisters and delivers a blow more harmful than any shrieking guitar.
‘When In Love’ commences a grungy rush to the finish post via crunching guitars, relationship musings and fist in the air chorus. There feels to be something missing within this section, perhaps the sheer visceral shock of Savages is one thing that cannot be replicated twice as we are pre-aware of the girls’ style and sound. Penultimate ‘T.I.W.Y.G’ mimics the positional impact of 2013’s ‘Husbands’ as the quartet offer one final barbarous three minute assault on complacent ears and although it delivers similarly structurally, lyrically it is lacking.
This album is another immaculately unperfected collection of post-punk and as a stand alone record it is successful in intent. It is an album to become acquainted with as it is suitably savage from surface value yet exploration of Jehnny’s biting and bitter lyrics will beckon further outsiders into this cult.