Debut Album from Savages Justifies All The Noise.

David Bowie.

David Bowie.

The lat­est nextbigth­ing from Britain are Sav­ages, and their much vaunt­ed debut album, Silence Your­self has just hit the shelves. And they’re this close to being faint­ly ridiculous.

They’re a four piece all girl retro post punk com­bo, and they take them­selves ter­ri­bly seriously.

Per­haps it’s unfair to cas­ti­gate them for that. All they’re doing is tak­ing their cue from Roxy and Bowie and their atti­tude at the onset of the 70s.

If you don’t take your­self and what you do seri­ous­ly how can you expect any­one else to? And not just the music. Everything.

The debut album from Savages.

The debut album from Savages.

But with Bowie and Roxy it was so much more colour­ful. And fun. Everything’s so black and white with Sav­ages. A bit of rouge could real­ly bright­en them up. If it weren’t for the actu­al music, the whole thing would be ever so slight­ly risible.

Hap­pi­ly though, Silence Your­self real­ly is an arrest­ing album.

Lead singer Jehn­ny Beth is open­ly chan­nelling Pat­ti Smith via Siouxsie Sioux. But although they sound every bit as fer­al as the Ban­shees, it’s all pro­duced in a much more planned and prac­ticed way.

They are com­ing at it from the same place as Cana­di­an noise mae­stros Metz, reviewed by me ear­li­er here.

Roxy circa '72

Roxy cir­ca ’72

It might ini­tial­ly appear like a wall of indus­tri­al noise made up of lay­ers of dis­so­nant feed­back, but it soon reveals itself as a care­ful­ly craft­ed and patient­ly prac­ticed col­lec­tion of metic­u­lous­ly struc­tured songs.

Which will prob­a­bly annoy some. Punk wasn’t sup­posed to be prac­ticed. But all it real­ly means is that Sav­ages and Metz are much bet­ter at it than most of those who went before.

The boys from Pitch­fork gave them an 8.7 here, and you can see them per­form their sin­gle Hus­bands on the Jools Hol­land Show here.

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5 Best Albums of 2012.

first-aid-kit-lions-roar5. First Aid Kit, The Lion’s Roar. The sec­ond album from Swedish sis­ters Klara and Johan­na Söder­berg, bare­ly into their 20s, arrived at the begin­ning of the year. Reviewed by me ear­li­er here, it’s a pitch-per­fect con­coc­tion of dreamy Amer­i­cana, draped, care­ful­ly, in the cloak of melancholia.

4. Metz, Metz. The talk of the town at this year’s CMJ – see my review ear­li­er here – the trio from Toron­to pro­duce a tor­rent of vis­cer­al noise fuelled by the adren­a­lin of undi­lut­ed but care­ful­ly chan­neled youth.

Soar3. Dexys, One Day I’m Going To Soar. News that Kevin Row­land and Dexys were about to resur­face with a new album and an accom­pa­ny­ing tour was met, under­stand­ably, with skep­ti­cism and trep­i­da­tion. Remark­ably, as I report­ed ear­li­er here, both were a minor sen­sa­tion. A glo­ri­ous and painful­ly hon­est album that con­tin­ues to glow.

2. Frank Ocean, Chan­nel Orange. In an ever so slight­ly dis­ap­point­ing year, this is the one album on every­one’s end of year list. Reviewed by me ear­li­er here, this is as lyri­cal­ly com­plex as it is musi­cal­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed. And its genre-hop­ping con­fi­dence sug­gests that an heir to the regal Prince might final­ly have emerged.

Katie Kim "Cover & FLood"1. Katie Kim, Cov­er & Flood. When this album came out last Feb­ru­ary it some­what slipped under the radar. Which is most unfair as, as I wrote in my ear­li­er review here, Katie Kim pulls off the sig­nif­i­cant feat of being as remark­able in the stu­dio as she is on stage. And this, her sec­ond album, is a haunt­ing­ly evoca­tive work that con­jures up an impres­sive­ly moody dreamscape.

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Metz’ Debut Album is a Power Punk Hymn to the Art of Noise.

New York’s CMJ Music Marathon is fast becom­ing this decade’s SXSW. It is in oth­er words where the future sounds of those who have yet to hap­pen are first spot­ted and duly noted.

Sit­u­at­ed around the Low­er East side of Man­hat­tan, it inevitably drifts over the bridge and into Brook­lyn where so many of today’s most excit­ing bands seem to be born and bred. And the one that made the biggest noise at this year’s CMJ was Metz, an arrest­ing trio from Toronto.

As the review from the boys from Pitch­fork not­ed, where they got an impressed 8.5 here, the band first sur­faced way back in 2007. But it’s only now that they’ve got­ten around to releas­ing their debut album. 

And, as their review notes, the time they’ve spent hon­ing their craft and pair­ing down their sound between then and now is a les­son that all aspir­ing musos should take heed of. 

Metz deliv­er raw, undi­lut­ed noise. Too dis­ci­plined to be called met­al, but far too loud to fall into pop, they’ve the ambi­tion and dri­ve of ear­ly Nir­vana but with­out any of the lat­ter’s need to please. The result is an explo­sion of pure adrenalin. 

You can see the suit­ably angst-rid­den video for their hymn to urban alien­ation “Wet Blan­ket” here.

And you can hear the All Songs Con­sid­ered pod­cast (which you should be lis­ten­ing to every week, and was reviewed by me here) on this year’s CMJ here.

Sign up for a sub­scrip­tion right or below, and I’ll keep you post­ed every week on All the Very Best and Worst in FIlm, Tele­vi­sion and Music.