ARTIST: SAVAGES
ALBUM: ADORE LIFE
LABEL: MATADOR
RELEASE DATE: 22 JANUARY 2016


2013’s Silence Yourself saw post-punks Savages testing the waters of wrath and gloom, and now they’re jumping in at the deep end. Adore Life, their second album, examines love in all of its beauty, and its malice.

The stylish quartet, headed by the stage-stalking Jenny Beth, match their perfectly trimmed monochrome image with carefully considered sounds and super slick performances. Lead single, ‘The Answer’, is controlled chaos – the frenzied, nightmarish bebop of Fay Milton’s drums in combination with the gnarled guitars is hypnotic and ritualistic. Beth’s poised harmonised vocals carve out space in the volatile, simmering waves of distortion.

The tight fitting grooves of ‘Sad Person’ are underpinned with bone-shaking bass lines. It presents the aspect of love that works on the same level as narcotics, where more is never enough to satisfy and only leads to self-destruction. This is mirrored in the tracks sheer ferocity. The feverish repetition of “This is what you get when you mess with love” on ‘T.I.W.Y.G’ shows Savages at their most natural and immediate, but a misjudged transition-less bridge stops the song dead in its tracks.

At the centre of it all is the introspective ballad ‘Adore’ that asks if it is “human to adore life”, whether Beth feels human or not. It’s sobering in its restraint and elegance, and exhibits her vulnerability without sacrificing the power of her words.

Love songs, but not in the traditional sense; Adore Life puts these sentiments in restraints and demands answers by any means necessary. The concept of love is torn and scraped at, but ultimately left standing. “My love will stand the test of time” claims Beth on the closer ‘Mechanics’, signifying the futility of dissecting something deeply imbedded and so unquestionably natural. But to reflect on it is vital, if only as a way find out more about oneself.

DANIEL COOK @DannoDanCook


7.0

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