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Silence Yourself

Savages

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Album Review

Plenty of bands have resuscitated post-punk throughout the 2000s and 2010s, but few have done so with the passion that reverberates through Savages' debut album, Silence Yourself. The band's early singles drew favorable comparisons to Patti Smith, Siouxsie Sioux, and a host of other strong female acts with post-punk roots, and the entire album burns with the same kind of confrontational fire those older artists had — which, somewhat paradoxically, makes Savages sound particularly refreshing compared to many of their more blasé contemporaries. Yet Silence Yourself is also an emphatic declaration of independence that is reflected in the band's approach to making music — they paid to make it with their own money and splashed their manifesto on the cover — as well as in the actual music. Since Sleater-Kinney's dissolution, powerful all-female bands have been few and far between in indie rock, and there's nothing wispy, precious, or coy about Savages on these songs. Their music is pointedly undecorative, particularly on tracks like "No Face," a searing three-and-a-half-minute showcase for what they do: singer Jehnny Beth leads the charge with her furious wail, and Ayse Hassan, Fay Milton, and Gemma Thompson do their best to keep up with her. Beth may be the band's lightning rod, but she's also a fairly versatile and evocative singer, moving from the feral, taunting "Husbands" to the ultra-gothy swoon of the closing torch song "Marshal Dear." At this point in their career, there's no escaping that Savages' music owes a significant debt to their foremothers, but Silence Yourself is more than just a collection of touchstones and footnotes. Beth and crew have a riveting presence that makes each track magnetic, and more than a few songs here hint at how wide their musical scope actually is: "Strife" swaggers along at a self-assured pace, and follows the album's poppiest chorus with doom-laden chords suggesting that Savages may be (not so) secret metalheads, while "Hit Me"'s breakneck pace nods to hardcore. Even their more traditionally post-punk tracks like "She Will" reflect a viewpoint — regarding the wilder parts of female sexuality in this case — that is unique. Given that much of the initial buzz about the band revolved around its electrifying live performances, in some ways Silence Yourself doesn't provide the full Savages experience, but it offers more than enough to make it a powerful debut that suggests they'll become an even more distinctive force to be reckoned with over time.

Customer Reviews

Not a Souxie Rip-Off

People need to realize that we don't live in a vacuum. New bands will sound like older bands because they are emulating what has been done right in the past. In the case of the Savages, they are definitely emulating the vibe of S&B. However, they have their own distinct and powerful personality packed into their instrumentals and lyrics. They're not rip-off artists: they're an ode to a classic alternative group with a modern twist.

Totally Siouxsie & the Banshes...

... but lacking the avant-gardness and theatricals of the originals.

Lots more influences than S&B

This band sounds like Bauhaus, Boy-era U2, Killing Joke, Gang of Four and Joy Division just as much or more than Siouxsie. Just because there's a female vocalist doesn't make them a Siouxsie clone, at all. This band obviously heard and liked all these bands. Still good song-writing for the most part, so give them some credit for having good influences. I loved the stuff then, still love it now.

Biography

Formed: October, 2011 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

The all-female post-punk four-piece Savages recall the tenacity and more artistic movements of London’s punk heyday with their blistering sound and noisy guitars. Hailing from the English capital, they formed at the end of 2011 after guitarist Gemma Thompson and singer Camille Berthomier — known as Jehny Beth — had procrastinated over a name and starting a band until they eventually settled on Savages and set to work on writing songs. Soon after, Ayse Hassan joined on bass and Fay Milton...
Full Bio
Silence Yourself, Savages
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Customer Ratings

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