Savages
Silence Yourself


4.5
superb

Review

by teddycutler1 USER (11 Reviews)
May 10th, 2013 | 124 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A controlled explosion of taut art-punk brilliance that high-wires between 1980 and 2013 with enviable ease.

There are several important things you must do before listening to Silence Yourself, the debut album from London four-piece Savages. Lie flat on your back, turn out every light in the room then disconnect yourself from the Internet, from your phone, from any form of social interaction. Do all these things and the subsequent blistering 38 minutes will be amongst the most claustrophobically rewarding of your aural year.

Savages want you, me, all of us to just shut up. During live performances they have repeatedly bemoaned the unfortunate modern ubiquity of handheld photographic devices. Their message is anachronistic and simple: open your ears, not your mouth. This manifesto is writ large on the album cover, a chillingly prescient and poetic address urging us to hear more and talk less.

All of this is noble, but the message will only truly resonate if the songs that accompany it are any good. Thankfully, there is little trouble in this regard: these are eleven tracks of minutely tempered rage and paranoia.

Something I should have mentioned at the beginning: you would be wise to (re) acquaint yourself with some early 80s post-punk before diving into Silence Yourself. The reference points are hardly oblique: the guitars that open 'Shut Up' come closer to recreating the intimidating glory of Pink Flag than Wire themselves have yet managed. Post-punk, though, is an ugly and inaccurate description to apply to these songs. They belong much more to the world of art-punk than the murky soundscapes of Joy Division and their early-2000s acolytes.

Close your eyes for long enough, then, and we could very well be back in 1980. 'I Am Here' rushes at breakneck speed over an inimitably punky rhythm section before descending into distant, dissonant squeals. If Savages are derivative then they certainly ape their influences with enormous skill and no little style: 'Strife' bristles with barely-controlled menace before Jehnny Beth's glamorously doom laden vocals arrive to propel a future genre classic to even greater depths of misanthropy.

Silence Yourself is an album stripped clean of fat, fluff and frippery. Every track is meticulously engineered and placed for a reason: 'Waiting For A Sign' arrives at the perfect moment to slow affairs down after that furious beginning, Beth's Siouxsie-esque histrionics imbuing these dischordant guitar lines with something approaching apocalyptic melancholy. At nearly six minutes it's the longest song on the album: Savages' music is taut and lean but unlike those of Wire and their ilk these are fully-fleshed songs rather than noise experimentations.

It's a mark of the band's skill and economy that Silence Yourself only increases in quality and urgency as it enters its final third. 'She Will' is a high-water mark, full to bursting with squally claustrophobic intensity that fades suddenly and brilliantly to the silence of which Savages are so fond.

Of course, no review of this album would be complete nor justified without making mention of the quite astonishing single 'Husbands'. To stainless steel clean guitars a one word chorus rises to the point of mad insanity. Beth leaves the song hanging at the apex of that chorus, the whole terrifying structure perched on the edge of a crumbling punk cliff.

I've really only got one thing to say to you: shut up and listen to Silence Yourself. This is now and will be one of the finest records of the year.



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user ratings (211)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
InfamousGrouse
May 10th 2013


3663 Comments


need to check this

Digging: Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

teddycutler1
May 10th 2013


8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's really very very good. Took me a few listens to get it but now I love it.

ConorIsNotHere
May 10th 2013


1305 Comments


After listening to their live EP, I'm pretty excited for this.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2013


7491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this a lot but it does become a bit grating in places. There's also the fact it basically is Siouxsie and the Banshees.

sideburndude
May 11th 2013


2782 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sounds fine

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2013


7503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Awesome review!



I've only spotted one spelling mistake: 'dischordant' should really be 'discordant'

Digging: Hawk Eyes - Everything Is Fine

fish.
May 11th 2013


22200 Comments


Might have to give this another listen

Digging: Say Lou Lou - Lucid Dreaming

LegendofPittman
May 11th 2013


2958 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Such a great album, one of my favorites so far this year.

chambered99
May 11th 2013


839 Comments


not a bad album so far

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 11th 2013


10736 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i saw a little bit of this group at coachella, think they translate much better live than they do on record

Digging: Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

chambered99
May 11th 2013


839 Comments


the songwriting sounds very much like a debut but a pretty cool little album 3/5

treeqt.
May 11th 2013


13123 Comments


Post-punk, though, is an ugly and inaccurate description to apply to these songs. They belong much more to the world of art-punk than the murky soundscapes of Joy Division and their early-2000s acolytes.


big agree

Digging: Dmitri Shostakovich - Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Opus 107

YankeeDudel
May 11th 2013


9328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

heard good things about this little fucker

Digging: Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

Nrap
May 11th 2013


169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

listening again. first time through didn't do much for me. Thinking it will improve

BallsToTheWall
May 11th 2013


44805 Comments


i NEED THIS

infinitetcetera
May 11th 2013


38 Comments


the word "frippery", in alliterative context = instant pos. Nice review, though I'm not sure if the music is something I'd like.

Acanthus
May 11th 2013


9549 Comments


Laid back and put on the title track, sweet stuff here; made me want to go revisit a lot of older bands I've been ignoring of late.

Digging: Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero

Eclecticist
May 11th 2013


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

damn a 4.5

spiralk
May 11th 2013


36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"There's also the fact it basically is Siouxsie and the Banshees."

true, though it's better than any siouxsie album ever.

Cygnatti
May 11th 2013


23449 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"true, though it's better than any siouxsie album ever."



wat

Digging: Robert Johnson - The Complete Recordings



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