Savages, “Adore Life”

Savages-2016-Adore_Life_cover_hi_resSavages
Adore Life
MATADOR
8/10

Less than three years after Silence Yourself, their stellar debut, the London-based post-punk apostles that go by Savages have returned with Adore Life—the brave and bold answer to some big questions about bigger ideas: Is it human to adore life? What do you get when you mess with love?

In ten tracks over forty minutes, vocalist Jehnny Beth leads the band full force toward a beautiful truth full of riffs and shifts that call back to both In on the Kill Taker–era Fugazi at its most punishing and Swans at “Love Will Save You” levels of vulnerability—especially on album opener “The Answer” and the side-one centerpiece “Adore.” The more straightforward screeds like “Sad Person” and “T.I.W.Y.G.” are steely eyed in their intention to get the pit going as bassist Ayşe  Hassan and drummer Fay Milton lay down the low end for Gemma Thompson’s wonderful stab-and-scrape guitar lines to dart over. On this record, Beth’s clarity of vision and voice creates an intimacy between the band and the listener that wasn’t there on Silence Yourself. With Adore Life, Savages have allowed us to get closer to them on their own terms of angry love and righteous respect for life and punk.

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