Les Savy Fav
Root For Ruin


3.0
good

Review

by Cam EMERITUS
August 12th, 2010 | 21 replies | 10,547 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Root For Ruin is a good album, but it's just a little too familiar and basic to be great

Root For Ruin doesn't tread any new ground for Les Savy Fav, but, at this point in their career, why should a band like Les Savy Fav tread any new ground? They're about as established as an indie/post-punk-revival band can get in these days of blogs and Mediafire and trendy, soon-to-be-defunct shit like Altered Zones; hell, they're only a few more solid albums away from being an institution. And Root For Ruin is just basically a solid album, finding the band whittling down the varied Let's Stay Friends into its bare-bones essentials, leaving behind a swirling melting pot of the chaotic, of the catchy, of the danceable, all blending together so finely it's hard even to see the individual ingredients, sometimes to a fault.

It's so smooth, this record, that it's sometimes too smooth, to the point to being slight. Root For Ruin is such a tight, focused post-punk record that discovering its more thrilling moments -- like when "Let's Get Out of Here" condenses into little more than shouted declarations of its title and discordant, chiming riffs, or how much cooler the buzzsaw guitars and ominous vocals of "Poltergeist" sound after every subsequent listen -- can take some time. That isn't to say Root For Ruin is inaccessible; it's far from it. In fact, with Tim Harrington's vocals cleaner and his songwriting more direct than ever, some of Root For Ruin is catchy enough to deliver on a much-deserved radio breakthrough that's eluded the band for years. It's just that much of Root For Ruin, especially the more sluggish and same-y middle section between high-octane thrashers "Dirty Knails" and "Excess Energies", is so straightforward and by-the-numbers that it can be hard to find much to really care about.

But when Root For Ruin hits, man, it really hits hard. Songs like "Clear Spirits" and "Excess Energies", in particular, offer some of the most thrilling choruses and moments of any song I've heard from 2010 to date. I guess I was proven wrong, though: Les Savy Fav do, in fact, need to progress in order to stay interesting, or else they just get a little flaccid, a little too disengaging. But even if Root For Ruin is little more than a reaffirmation of a band's awesomeness, at least it's a good one.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
joshuatree
Emeritus
August 12th 2010



3743 Comments


so this was released digitally on august 3rd apparently but doesn't see physical release until september. so i wrote this because why not so mods feature it whenever or just don't that's cool too

this is sorta disappointing, was expecting more =(

SpacePanda
August 12th 2010



38 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

enjoyed it, but didnt do that much for me. overall pretty good, itll probably grow on me

Enotron
August 12th 2010



7695 Comments


nice review, none of their stuff really appeals to me

klap
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2010



9994 Comments


who is this cam guy

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 12th 2010



3743 Comments


i'm an enigma

Ponton
Emeritus
August 12th 2010



5775 Comments


guessing the "they be" shouldn't be there in 1st sentence

good review though, been looking into getting let's stay friends for a while now

Digging: Mimicking Birds - Mimicking Birds

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 12th 2010



3743 Comments


hm don't know how i missed that, thanks

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2010



17114 Comments


i kind of liked Lets Stay Friends. probably will check this out just for shits and giggles when i get the time

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

Mordecai.
August 13th 2010



8255 Comments


pretty cool band

Spare
August 13th 2010



5223 Comments


only just got lets stay friends last night then i wake up and see this i was like whaaat

pixiesfanyo
August 13th 2010



1223 Comments


i love this record and while it may be redundant its good to hear some indie rock that actually rocks and doesn't involve faggy folk / pop influences.

IAJP
August 13th 2010



378 Comments


i agree with pixiesfan. good to see some straight up indie rock. cant wait for this album, what i've heard is good so far, nothing new but then again that's why LSF are huge.

Kiran
Emeritus
August 13th 2010



5992 Comments


ive been really looking forward to this

Enotron
August 13th 2010



7695 Comments


the recent staff ratings have been depressing

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 13th 2010



3743 Comments


faggy pop or folk influences?!?!

Knott-
Emeritus
August 13th 2010



10193 Comments


lol all 4 features are depressing reviews

WatchItExplode
August 13th 2010



3072 Comments


half of Let's Be Friends rules so I'll probably check this out...these guys have put out some truly atrocious music though

AggravatedYeti
August 14th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I just got this and was hoping it was good : (

IAJP
August 14th 2010



378 Comments


i am certain by faggy pop or folk references the following bands are included: best coast, fleet foxes, wolf parade, etc.

kinghui
August 14th 2010



6 Comments


The Cat and the Cobra will be hard to top for me.



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