Savages

Silence Yourself (Matador)

ACL Music Fest 2013 Friday Reviews

Savages

Silence Yourself (Matador)

Like its British brethren, Savages draws strength from Seventies post-punk in all its angular, dissonant, melodic glory. On the London quartet's debut Silence Yourself, the group whips up a storm of aggressive rhythms, strident vocalizing, and six-string sheen as if the succeeding pop trends never happened and Gang of Four and Siouxsie & the Banshees rule the charts. Gemma Thompson's reverb-happy guitar swaggers like the love child of Will Sergeant and Rowland S. Howard, slaying with both ringing bells of chords and hell-blazing amp abuse. Bassist Ayse Hassan stokes her mate's flames with undulating licks of her own, while drummer Fay Milton's steady hand keeps the car on the road with her foot on the gas. Jehnny Beth confidently rides this roiling beast like a surfer on a dragon, singing across the twisting melodies more often than alongside them. The foursome wrangles a lassoed tornado swirling with romantic angst and open defiance, couching lyrics like, "Don't worry about breaking my heart/Far bigger things will fall apart," in tension strong enough to crush a submarine. Controlled explosions like the bristling "She Will," predatory "City's Full," and grueling, grinding "Waiting for a Sign" cut a deadly swath without leaving collateral damage. Silence Yourself peaks with "Husbands," borrowing the mantra-minded structure of Patti Smith's Horses for a flame-throwing bullet train of bad will, while "Marshal Dear" closes with a smoky bar piano and a seething cauldron of loathing. Sometimes a slow burn produces the biggest explosion. (1pm, Honda stage)

****

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
William Harries Graham
Jakes (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, April 12, 2019

Texas Platters
Rebecca Loebe
Give Up Your Ghosts (Record Review)

Christina Garcia, April 12, 2019

More by Michael Toland
Texas Platters
Tia Carrera
Visitors / Early Purple (Record Review)

April 19, 2019

Steve Gunn Remembers the Stonehurst Cowboy
Steve Gunn Remembers the Stonehurst Cowboy
Guitarist deep dives into the lyrical and familial

April 18, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Savages, ACL Fest 2013

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle