Scott Creney

Savages – Silence Yourself (Pop Noire/Matador)

Savages – Silence Yourself (Pop Noire/Matador)
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By Scott Creney

Man, that band name’s a fucking misnomer, isn’t it? This record doesn’t have a hair out of place, an unplanned thought in its overwrought head. They were kidding right? It’s meant to be ironic? I know, we’ll call ourselves Savages! That’s hilarious!

Silence Yourself is in complete control of itself — its intentions, what it hopes to accomplish. It doesn’t have a savage bone in its body.

It sounds, in a production sense, amazing. A rock record that explodes out of the speakers, it works well enough as texture, sonic sculptures and all that.  Just don’t listen too closely or dig too deeply, because when all’s said and done there isn’t a whole lot here to get excited about. Silence Yourself gets worse every time I listen to it. I’m a little past a dozen right now, and after the last one I had to listen to The Slits’ Peel Sessions for an hour straight to wash Savages out of my ears, to remind me of what music can accomplish, just how much life you can cram into a song.

I just hope you don’t buy the album expecting to be surprised. I hope you’re not one of those people who value spontaneity. Everything about Savages feels staged, premeditated, mapped out in advance, a brutal cartoon. Look, just because Silence Yourself is more compelling (and it is) than say, Palma Violets, or Peace, or Haim, or any of the tired played-out dishwater shit that makes up IPC-sanctioned Contemporary UK Indie Incorporated, doesn’t mean it’s good. They’re just the brightest bulb in a botanical garden filled with blank, withered, colorless tulips.

When people say it makes more sense when you see them live, that’s usually a surefire sign that their record going to suck. And I dare you to find me a review of Silence Yourself that doesn’t mention Savages’ live show.

Though I don’t doubt that Savages in person might hold my attention in a way that Silence Yourself does not.

I understand the music world has a business to run, but why does it have to be as dull, careerist, empty and oblivious as everything else in the world these days?

Hey, here’s a question: How come every review I’ve read about this band so far is positive, but every single review feels compelled to lash out against the band’s naysayers? Why all this pre-emptive criticism? Shouldn’t y’all at least wait for the backlash to actually begin before you start pushing against it?

So I guess you can start pushing now.

Look, I don’t enjoy writing this review. I’m disappointed because I had hoped (though as the songs kept appearing I became less and less hopeful) that Savages might make, at the very least, an interesting album. What’s worse, I feel like I’m telling all the UK media/publicists that there’s no Santa Claus — not even the emperor has no clothes, more like the emperor only wears black and why do you think that’s interesting?

Thing is, I’d look past all this (some of this) if every song was up to the standard of ‘Husbands’, but they aren’t even close.

The first time I heard ‘Husbands’ it stopped me in my tracks. I thought something might be happening here, but it’s been all downhill for me and Savages ever since. It’s still their best moment, their best set of lyrics, their best singing, their most excitement, their most hooks, the one song in their catalog that I actually want to hear again.

And it’s still the only one. I know The Album is dead as an artform, as a music-consumption device, and all that, but seriously after 18 months this is the best they can do?

Not the shock of the new so much as the comfort of the old. The “I like stuff that sounds like the stuff I already like” branch of the rock’n’roll fanclub meets here. This is the part where those people reflexively shout “ THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS ORIGINALITY!” Of course, when confronted with an artist who does thing differently, these same people mock them. They can’t play their instruments! They don’t know what they’re doing! This is terrible! Is this some kind of joke?

If you think rock is about learning the rules and then successfully demonstrating your knowledge of these rules, then Savages is the band for you.

Tamsin calls it MAMOR — Middle-Aged-Man-Oriented-Rock. She’s a sharp one, that Tamsin.

I don’t give a shit about originality. But I do give a shit what you do with your influences — are they a springboard or an albatross? Have you swallowed them whole or do you wear them on your sleeve like a fashion accessory. I’m not looking for something new, but I am looking for something you.

I won’t be the first person to point any of this out. I may, however, be the first person to follow this train of thought all the way into the station.

It’s like Siouxsie — only less.
It’s like Joy Division — only less.
It’s like The Birthday Party — only less.
It’s, in places, like the first U2 album — only less.

I’m not asking for originality. I’m just asking for more. I want to hear one influence that isn’t already pre-approved by a bunch of old white dudes. I want to hear one influence that isn’t already part of the accepted canon — I can’t help thinking that if this were 1985 the critics falling all over themselves for Savages right now would be massive Whitesnake fans because Whitesnake sounded like Led Zeppelin the greatest rock band of all time, not like this Replacements/Husker Du/Minutemen/Mary Chain bullshit. Meet the new orthodoxy, same as the old orthodoxy only this time with better taste. (Or is it? I’m starting to wonder.)

I want to be surprised. This is predictable. All of it — the music, the press, the interviews, the uniforms, the manifestos, the coolness, the coldness — so tired, so uninspir(ed)ing — so tedious. There’s a record to be sold, a marketplace to consolidate, credibility to be claimed.

I’ve already seen Silence Yourself called a triumph, and it is — a triumph of projection on the part of the UK media.

I keep reading that Savages say something about the times we live in, but nobody ever tells me exactly what it is. Maybe that’s because what Savages is saying doesn’t make any sense. Now I love misdirection and scattershot incoherence as much as the next person, but like what the fuck is all this about?

Their manifesto sure says something alright — it says they’re not all that bright. Not because I’m offended, but because I literally have no idea what point they’re trying to make (which between you & me is one of the most important part of a goddamn manifesto). It seems to say that we’re all overstimulated by too much information and so everyone’s shallow now — not like the enlightened days of… 1972?… 1956?… 1924? Savages doesn’t say when the world had the proper number of voices, and I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt here and assume that they aren’t idealizing a time when the only voice most people heard was their small-town newspaper and most non-dominant views/people were so marginalized that they scarcely existed.

But you know, if you want to make a case for that, the poem allows it. It seems personally upset that anyone can say whatever they want to, upset with the leveling power of equal access. We can piss and moan about these things all we want, but social media and web culture present a world where there is no centralized power, and this, based on their manifesto (which is on the cover of their album so we can go ahead and use the M word here), pisses Savages off. Not globalization, not the inherent structural violence of capitalism, not even puppy torture. The problem in this goddamned world is TOO MANY VOICES.

But then it goes further — the problem isn’t too many voices, the problem is all voices, i.e. the whole world needs to shut up. Everyone. Except for Savages, I’m assuming, since they’re the ones with all the answers (and because they, in a real artistic fuckup, keep saying you instead of we — as if they’re somehow exempt from this phenomenon). Not forever, just for a while (a fortnight perhaps? a bank holiday?). And then we can all like catch our breaths and put everything back together.

The fact that this putting everything (everything?!) back together line comes immediately after the bit about how we’ve already deconstructed everything (I can think of a couple more things that need deconstructing, just off the top of my head) makes me stop and wonder. If deconstruction was about undoing certain received wisdoms that dominate western thought, isn’t this poem/manifesto arguing that they should be rebuilt? And then to end the last line with silence yourself? Who exactly are they talking to?

Conservative with a lower case c, Savages are such bad poets they don’t (I’m assuming) realize they’ve written a manifesto that would make Thatcher proud. Seriously, it idealizes a golden age that never existed, bemoans the diversity of voices in the culture, and longs for rational simplification in the face of messiness.

Freedom is messy. Democracy is the process of everyone talking at once — an endless series of negotiations and protest, advocacy and compromise. It works best when nobody is silenced.

For the record — and I’m going to write this next part in big letters so I’m not misunderstood — I DON’T THINK SAVAGES ARE A BUNCH OF ANTI-DEMOCRATIC THATCHERITES. At the very least, they’re savvy enough to know that anti-democratic manifestos aren’t going to play well in The Guardian. But the poem reveals something very important about the band.

Savages try so hard — they try to be interesting, try to be smart, try to be special. But they try too hard. They overreach themselves. And the effort is so palpable, so foregrounded, that it makes the album exhausting to listen to, demanding in the worst sense.

Take the tuneless, hysterical dreck of ‘Strife’. Again, the enthusiasts keep insisting Savages are saying something, so why can’t I figure it out? And why don’t these enthusiasts ever go into specifics?

They wonder how we do it/They ask me if I care/They wonder how come the years/Haven’t sought more lovers tear

Um… ”Haven’t sought more lovers tear”? You don’t need me to point out this is terrible, do you?

They question that it’s true/A love that never wilts/And they must seek you there/Where furies smite young slits

Remember earlier when I said it’s best not to dig too deeply? To listen too closely?

Since the lyrics are, at best, incoherent scattershot nonsense, it’s left to the interviews to outline what Savages are saying (and the only reason I’m looking is b/c, again, I keep reading that this is a band that is NOT mere entertainment — they’ve got something to say, man).

Check out last week’s Pitchfork feature.

Beth says Hostile’s role in her liberation means she can’t call herself a feminist. Although she agrees with the movement’s aims for equality, she has misgivings about its wider motivations and is fascinated when women put a feminist reading on Savages. “They tell me they think pornography is bad for women and assume I’m going to understand,” she says. “The thing is, I watch a lot of pornography. It’s been very important for me, to liberate myself from the pressure of romanticism, the myth of a woman’s pleasure.”

Again, let’s give her the benefit of the doubt (though at this point I’m getting a little tired of having to do this). Let’s assume that when she says “the myth of a woman’s pleasure” what she’s actually talking about is “traditional preconceptions about a woman’s pleasure”, that she doesn’t literally think woman’s pleasure is a myth (though, again, you could interpret it that way if you wanted to). But what’s this shit about how she can’t call herself a feminist because her boyfriend (Jehnny’s s/o is a guy who calls himself Johnny Hostile, and no he is not 12 years old) has helped her?

Here’s some more from last week’s feature, discussing a song on the album called ‘Hit Me’ — and no, it’s not about playing blackjack:

I took a beating today/And that was the best I ever had,” Beth moans, adopting the perspective of her favorite porn star, Belladonna, who gained widespread notoriety following a 2003 Primetime interview with Diane Sawyer in which she cried about some of her experiences, and subsequently became used as a strawman for porn’s “manipulative evils” by lobbyists. (She spoke out afterwards about how Primetime’s editing misrepresented her as a victim.)

Well I’m glad Jehnny Beth isn’t using Belladonna (the lyrics have for Belladonna written at the top) as a strawman — just singing in the first person about how much she loves getting beat up. “Hit me with your hands,” the song continues. “Oh it’s the only way I ever learn.”

The edginess of ‘Hit Me’ feels obvious, put there to shock, to complicate, to signify. Like, am I supposed to be impressed? This is just cheap thrills in other people’s misery and a pathetic attempt to say something profound. It’s meant to titillate, pure and simple — I doubt we’ll ever hear Jehnny Beth talk about the Myth of Male Pleasure.

Savages go on to say they make music to fuck on the floor to, and it’s an apt comparison, the first thing I’ve heard them say that actually makes sense.

Because like floor-fucking, Savages sounds great in theory, but in practice turns out to be seriously overrated — and I say this as someone who has floor-fucked from the top and the bottom, on both hardwood and carpet. But like everything Savages, it’s not there to communicate, it’s there for effect (and trying to get people hot and bothered over your taste for the rough stuff isn’t much of a statement). In lyrics and interviews, it’s become apparent that Savages persist in the juvenile belief (one they really should have outgrown by now) that fornication makes you an interesting person, and variance from traditional sex norms makes you somehow edgier and more dangerous than those with less variance.

So I guess if Justin Bieber shoves a big camouflage dildo up his ass this makes him relevant?

And I’m not saying this as a prude. Shit, I once engaged in actual real-life full-on unprotected fornication while driving 80mph eastbound on Interstate 10 towards Arizona. I once received a blowjob, to completion, while the benefactress carried on a phone conversation with her father. I once — well, you get the idea. My point being, NONE OF THIS SAYS ANYTHING ABOUT ME AT ALL. They’re decent stories and all (though the one where I sing Karaoke to a stadium of 50,000 booing baseball fans in Chicago is better — it ends w/me waving a Red Sox hat in front of the camera and yelling Chicago sucks as they cut my microphone), but come on, even meth-head Florida rednecks can do better than fucking on the floor.

And you probably shouldn’t buy those people’s album either.

Everything about this record reeks of conservatism, right down to the last deviant sexual fetish and the drummer bringing a copy of The Fountainhead to the Pitchfork interview (+1 journalism points to the interviewer for mentioning it, but -25 journalism points for not actually, you know, asking her about it).

They try so hard to be significant that it ends up working against them, the difference between trying to sound smart and just being smart. Silence Yourself crumbles under the misbalanced ambitions of its creators. Shit lyrics, shit tunes, shit ideas… equals a shit record no matter how you dress it up. If this is the best UK Indie has to show for itself (hint: it isnt’), it’s in even bigger trouble than we thought.

Silence Yourself stinks of theatre, of school play contrivance and affectation for the sake of affect. I don’t mind illusion and artifice, but illusion and artifice that insists its real and demands you take it seriously as such just wears me out. And 20 years from now this silly little record isn’t going to mean shit to anyone aside from its creators and their immediate friends and family.

Related posts:

“…something about this performance for the press, no matter how authentic others claimed it to be, felt forced, staged, an innocuously deceptive put-on. In the constant comparisons to Joy Division, Wire, and Clinic, there reigned one unspoken truth among the words: the band’s domination of the critical hive-mind came from the fact that, in everything Savages did, they were channeling not women, but men.” (Playing Fair)

“In my head it’s 1978, not that it is anywhere else. Obviously. I’m just saying I remember early Factory Records, I remember Malaria!, I remember bands that battled with demons that were all the more scary for being real, and I remember being never quite sure where it was all going to end up.” (Song of the day – 471: Savages)

“Savages. They aren’t.” (Savages | the three-word review + REVIEWED IN PICTURES)

1. That I (we) care if Savages are manufactured.

Wrong. My (our) ultimate concern is the music. And the Savages debut album is a crushing, lacklustre disappointment (especially after the barbed promise of last year’s ‘Husbands’ – c.f. Song of the day 471: Savages). Haven’t I (we) spent the last couple of years arguing against the necessity of authenticity in pop (see sample posts, here and here)? Don’t I lecture week in, week out, about how intentions and deliberation – though important – count for next to nothing next to the music itself? I like it, for Bang’s sake, when musicians and the folk surrounding musicians think about what they’re doing. Why is it ever considered a minus?” (Ten misconceptions about Collapse Board and Savages)

28 Responses to Savages – Silence Yourself (Pop Noire/Matador)

  1. DC May 7, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Hear Hear.

  2. Max May 7, 2013 at 5:02 am

    Fantastic. Couldn’t be more on the money if you were Queen Liz II herself.

  3. Pingback: Against Music’s Reductive Obsession With Newness: A Defense of Savages – Flavorwire

  4. MM May 7, 2013 at 6:07 am

    I usually cut people some slack when they’re not writing in their native language but I’m glad you guys took a hard line on that.

  5. simon hewitt May 7, 2013 at 7:43 am

    a wonderfully written review, but oh so wrong

  6. simon hewitt May 7, 2013 at 9:49 am

    if you will permit me a moment of belligerence:
    within minutes of hearing ‘city’s full’, i knew i wanted to see this band. derivation is a given, and partly explains their uplifting resonance. your assertions that they are some kind of marionetted doppelganger is without foundation.
    or substance.
    leaving aside the relevance of their live work, i wonder who rewrote the script so that the non-album song ‘fuckers’ transformed from a plain rousing anthem into the glorious thrashbeast it has become?
    bollocks to your conspiracy theory contrivances.

  7. simon hewitt May 7, 2013 at 10:31 am

    i wonder if your ‘murmur’ review can be summarised simply: “but the byrds”

  8. Mill May 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Seems like he has written this review just to get traffic to his site..

    He doesn’t get the band, so what!! They are inspiring in such a mundane moment in music.

  9. Dan May 7, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Shame because (as if I have to mention this) there are loads of brilliant “independent” (i.e. self-releasing/no interest in the signed or unsigned binary) bands in the UK. I didn’t detest Savages’ record as much as Scott, it’s better than a lot of shit that will pour out the speakers in the “indie” clubs, damning with faint praise perhaps, and I can look past the studied/styled(?) cynicism and undergraduate academic flourishes because we’ve all fucking been there right and at it was goddam hilarious when the Manics did it, for example. Presume the journos at NME and such have picked up on this genuine need for a rebalancing of the gender split in coverage and also the negative fringe of their readers/ex-readers who wish the bands they covered had a bit more edge – but without losing that core demographic, etc. Cynicism breeds cynicism. In 20 years we’ll probably lament Savages for not following Silence Yourself up with another brilliant record.

  10. Mill May 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    The band self released 2 releases prior and are still half on the singers label.

    Anyway at least they haven’t been on the cover of NME…..because they turn down most of the press. surely all this music making stuff is a balancing act, if a band naturally create interest in the media, people assume it’s a campaign.

  11. Sheilagh May 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    When are you going to run a review instead of a student essay that misses the point.
    For decades we have had to put up with this sort of rank music writing- every line is so cliched it’s laughable.

  12. Everett True May 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    For decades we have had to put up with this sort of rank music writing- every line is so cliched it’s laughable.

    Well-suited to a discussion of Savages’ music then, don’t you think?

  13. Sheilagh May 7, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Typically of a middle aged male music site, the the review is so sexist- what’s up? you can’t get to grope the band? prefer the album if it had been made by men?

  14. Everett True May 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Wow. You aren’t familiar with Collapse Board, are you Sheilagh? We’ve been called many things – “boring, self satisfied hipster cunts” is a recent popular one – but I have a feeling that ‘sexist’ might be a first.

  15. aa May 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    lol great review hit the nail on the head. best album review ive read for a long long time. savages are nothing but phoney baloney nonsense

  16. Gail May 8, 2013 at 12:58 am

    This is the single best record review I have read in my very long life, including any I’ve written.

  17. WayHey May 8, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Shut Up is a very good track, love it. City’s Full album version is SO inferior to the video (recorded live) that it’s a disappointment.

    The album is solid but certainly not groundbreaking – I fear the singer is the weak link and had she not been howling so much like Siouxsie, a lot of the backlash wouldn’t be here. Gemma on guitar is reaaaalllllllyyyyyyyy good. Love the noise and dissonance.

    An interesting band but certainly not worth the amount of a) press and b) discussion they are receiving.

    Take care oh ye youngsters looking to create music which might fall into the post-punk genre, it’s a doozy to navigate with passionate fans (myself included) who can be quick to disembowl you if you’re not legit. Personally, I have no idea what legit is tho – I’m a card-carrying alumni of the late 70s/early 80s and thought Interpol was good, Editors were ok, She Wants Revenge was garbage, Fear of Flying, sorry, White Lies were garbage (by the way, why change your name from Fear of Flying? great name), think the Horror’s 2nd album is the best of the lot listed above, and caught the City’s Full video over a year ago and just loved it.

    Mr. Creney can write, and this is an entertaining article with some very legitimate points. I wonder tho, if this review along with the other backlash the band is getting would be equivalent had they not been embraced by so many other critics. Pop Will Eat Itself!

  18. Dan May 8, 2013 at 7:28 am

    I sometimes wonder if my own misgivings on this are to do with Savages being a more successful band in my own band’s approximate genre (post-punk removed from its era, with some other things thrown in). I’m not putting my band out there for appraisal but I have to look at myself here, I can’t abstain from self-criticism. Do I feel professionally/personally jealous? Am I able to separate the record as document from the record as part of a greater package? Do I feel slighted because I think my own political leanings are more righteous and worthy of being aired to the world’s media? Am I affronted because I lack the connections and, let’s face it, commodifiable look of Savages?

    And naturally there are questions for us men to ask about how we really feel when women make provocative statements about sex and violence that may confuse the directness of liberal rhetoric (though I think that, for the record, we have to assume some kind of meaning to give this whole critical endeavour legitimacy, rather than them simply being ‘just signifiers’).

    I’d say these are valid questions that many people expressing an interest need to ask themselves with honesty (i.e. you don’t have to respond to me here giving your answer) because I’m guessing everyone here and in some way involved with what I shall loosely called The Savage Republic has an overly-invested commitment to this kind of aesthetic and era (you can see it in many people’s responses) compared to the average person or regular music fan and as such could be seen to be transferring a lot of emotions and tropes of Boring Male Criticism gone by (that perhaps you could make a case to say the band knew enough about to play on but probably didn’t realise how vehement it would be in its full glare) that means that Savages the band that made an album that they really are privately proud of and want you to like because that’s essentially what humans want, to be like and appreciated on the level – gets separated from Savages the entity constructed from their own aesthetics and hubris and miscommunications as well as that of those looking at them. It may be that because of this weight, the album can’t be appreciated in its time and culture, which is kind of sad, because it would be great to have a series of great records for young people to listen to and decipher and go out and act upon.

    Slightly long-winded there. Having carefully listened to the record again, I can’t say that I hate it nor can I see myself rushing out to purchase it. It’s a polished, coherent, politically sloppy record for a time when I more-or-less demand righteous fucking noise and total mayhem.

  19. Dan May 8, 2013 at 7:29 am

    *not ‘gets separated’, I mean ‘gets tied up with’.

  20. Harvey Manfrenjensenden May 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I think they’re fake and pompous and there’s already plenty of music exactly like this. There are some microkinds of music I don’t mind more of the same in but not when it comes to this stuff.

  21. Dan May 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    That is undeniably true Harvey but what I am asking is why Savages and why now?

  22. Jazz May 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Just felt like responding here – as somebody who reviewed the record, I think some of the (general) rebuttals in this piece fall slightly wide of the mark.

    “Hey, here’s a question: How come every review I’ve read about this band so far is positive, but every single review feels compelled to lash out against the band’s naysayers? Why all this pre-emptive criticism? Shouldn’t y’all at least wait for the backlash to actually begin before you start pushing against it?”

    Not that I’d expect any sane reviewer to research quite this deeply, but the Drowned in Sound boards are full of bored-of-this-shit Savages skeptics and have been for months. Of course these kind of discussions aren’t limited to one music forum. Admittedly there hasn’t been the kind of widespread press backlash you got with, say, Brother, but to say there hasn’t been one at all is misleading. Besides, you know, counter arguments = useful rhetorical device, as ET’s Ten Misconceptions piece proves…

    “I keep reading that Savages say something about the times we live in, but nobody ever tells me exactly what it is. Maybe that’s because what Savages is saying doesn’t make any sense. Now I love misdirection and scattershot incoherence as much as the next person, but like what the fuck is all this about? … Again, the enthusiasts keep insisting Savages are saying something, so why can’t I figure it out? And why don’t these enthusiasts ever go into specifics?”

    Another thing we’ll have to disagree on is the manifesto, which I found pretty… self-explanatory. We’re constantly being sold to, treated as consumers blah blah, and in this sense our social structures distract us from our (for want of a non-cringeworthy phrase) personal growth. The songs on Silence Yourself are about exploring sexuality, expressing socially unacceptable sides of ourselves, and rejecting the inferiority complex that results from this sort of psychosocial oppression to which we’re subjected. These aren’t new problems, but discussion of issues like eg sexism and homophobia seems to be… at least getting heard. So yeah, you could probably infer from that that Savages say something about the times we live in (although that specifically is not an argument I’ve seen anyone making).

    “Their manifesto sure says something alright — it says they’re not all that bright. Not because I’m offended, but because I literally have no idea what point they’re trying to make (which between you & me is one of the most important part of a goddamn manifesto). It seems to say that we’re all overstimulated by too much information and so everyone’s shallow now — not like the enlightened days of… 1972?… 1956?… 1924?”

    As above. They’re not harking back to a golden era, they have a problem with the way things are. (NB. The “voices and noise” they reference are less to to do with information overload [ie the internet/opinion pieces, which you seem to imply] than TV shows and advertising. I’m recalling this from interviews but I honestly don’t think it’s difficult to pick up from the poem.) It’s not their duty as artists to offer a solution, but they have one that suits them. To use their term, emancipation – shrugging off the social expectations that limit your personal growth, all that kinda shit; a personal reaction to a social problem.

    “The edginess of ‘Hit Me’ feels obvious, put there to shock, to complicate, to signify. Like, am I supposed to be impressed? This is just cheap thrills in other people’s misery and a pathetic attempt to say something profound. It’s meant to titillate, pure and simple.”

    Again I think you’ve misread the context. The idea here was to defend a person’s right to enjoy submissive sexual experiences without being automatically characterised as a victim. To apply a slightly vague umbrella, her attitude has something in common with sex-positive feminism.

    As for the Ayn Rand thing, coincidentally I brought up some of Rand’s (personal, as opposed to political) ideas when I interviewed Gemma Thompson and Jehnny Beth a few months ago. They’re not interested in her work whatsoever. So yeah, while it’s interesting (and kind of amusingly unsavvy) that the bassist took The Fountainhead to that interview, it’s not really central to the Savages story.

    This might be a bit incoherent – it’s what, 3am? – but yeah, you get the point.

  23. Fair dinkum May 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Seriously, what a bunch of overthinking negative, navel gazing knobs you lot are (most of your anyway). Lead by dumb arse, waffling criticism delivered by a self important reviewer who clearly needs to get more. Everything is derivative – everything. But when something’s good it’s good – and this band is simple good.

    Oh yeah and she sound’s like Chrissy Amphlett too and that’s far from a bad thing.

  24. Tim Clarke May 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    I really really enjoyed reading this. Thanks, Scott.

  25. John W May 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    There we have it – there was a void, the music press had a dream, that a band like this, very much like this, would arrive. Of course the idea that the obvious would occur is too much for some of us.

  26. Trip Fantasy May 21, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I checked out some of Savages’ manifestos per Jazz’s recommendation.

    “music and words are aiming to strike like lightning, like a punch in the face”

    These similes are really cool. I’ve never seen language used like this before.


    Tom Friedman has been plagiarizing Savages what the hell man?!?! Sue him!!!


    This point hasn’t been made so well since “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2.”

  27. Harvey Manfrenjensenden May 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Trip, you forgot about Roger Waters’ “Amused To Death”. Frankly I wish Waters would stop ripping off these young Britons, several decades before they existed. Shameful.

  28. Mike August 19, 2013 at 6:28 am

    A simple defense of the manifesto: I don’t think it is advocating for an “ostrich” approach to the diversity of voices, merely advocating for a break from their omnipresence. It can be hard to hear your own voice in the midst of a room full of shouting people, especially if there are unspoken societal pressures telling you not to value your own voice. It’s advocating for a retreat, to be able to later engage in culture with redoubled efforts and a greater self-certainty, rather than mere advocacy for one of the present shouting voices.

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