Monthly Archives: October 2015

New Music: Savages, The Answer

Savages, “The Answer” (Matador, 10/21/2015)

A new Savages track appeared today, together with a release date for the band’s new album – huzzah!

Savages’ debut, Silence Yourself, played with tension and barely contained fury through a dark, post-punk glaze; cathartic spikes poking through in patches.  The songs caromed between slow burning intensity and raucous indignation.

With ‘The Answer’, the raucous is turned up to ten (eleven?).  Vocalist Jhenny Beth howls like Siouxsie at the center of a druggy, hypnotic maelstrom with hornet’s nest guitars and a driving rhythm that brings to mind psych/space rock, punk, metal, even early industrial.  This dizzy intensity matches the lyrics, wherein the ‘answer’ (in case you were curious) is love – a possessive, desperate love that leaves you panicky, insecure (“If you don’t love me, don’t love anybody/And you’re glad it’s you/…Love is the answer/I’ll go insane”).  Healthy?  Perhaps not, but many of us have had moments where the thought of getting to be with, or hanging on to, someone we desire is the only thing; alternatives too dire.  There lies madness…

“The Answer” will appear on Savages’ forthcoming album, Adore Life, due January, 2016, on Matador – and on this evidence, not a moment too soon.  It’s available for preorder now, through the band’s website.

Track Review: The Radio Dept., This Repeated Sodomy

The Radio Dept. “This Repeated Sodomy” (Labrador, 09/11/2015)


Welcome return of Swedish dream-pop heroes and faves.

While the band the group has at times sacrificed reverb and feedback indie rock for a more synthesized, beat driven new wave bounce, that is not the case here.   This new single showcases the effortless, wistful jingle-jangle charm of early tracks like “Where Damage Isn’t Already Done” from 2003 (egads!) debut, Lesser Matters – insular and warm, the thin veneer of distortion like creases in a well-loved chair; a glint of sunshine from behind a curtain of fog.  The lyrics cite the recent referendums on the Greek economy – and the titular activity visited on the Greek people in the name of ‘austerity’ – but can easily be read more broadly, singer Johan Duncanson calling for ‘decency…to establish equality/instead of this [repeated/unwanted/one-sided] sodomy’.

“Sodomy” is out now on Labrador Records.  Flying by at a little more than two minutes, it serves as a sort of amuses oreilles for their upcoming album (according to the label, the track will not feature).  Go forth, and download from your music service of choice – or just stream it, we’re not judging.

If this is your introduction to The Radio Dept., do yourself a favor and check out their back catalogue, and go like them on the Facebook.