Savages ADORE LIFE
An all-female post-punk quartet, Savages splashed onto the scene with the 2013 LP “Silence Yourself.”
New Yorkers loved it. I didn’t.
But on “Adore Life,” the band’s sophomore album, I’m starting to get in tune with Savages’ visceral mix.
The lead-off track, “The Answer,” starts with a tornado of guitars and rolling drums that threaten to derail at any moment. This is the exciting sound I had wanted to hear on the band’s overhyped debut.
The momentum continues with “Evil” and “T.I.W.Y.G.,” a pair of gothic-dark songs that wouldn’t sound out of place next to the works of bands like Joy Division or Suicide.
The band also is growing out of the mold it made. “Slowing Down the World” has a killer groove, propelled by bassist Ayse Hassan. “Surrender” starts off in a fuzzed-out electronica-like dirge that would make Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails jealous.
Removed from the pretentiousness and hype, Savages have made an exciting and great rock record.
There’s no denying Savages now. The throne is theirs, for the moment.
The Besnard Lakes A COLISEUM COMPLEX MUSEUM
A rock quintet from Quebec, The Besnard Lakes makes dense music, almost frustratingly so.
Its fifth album is titled “A Coliseum Complex Museum,” whatever that means. Here, the band isn’t switching up its formula of epic, reverb-laden rock music.
Like previous albums, songs start in mystery then bloom into psychedelic swirls of guitars and cymbals. It still mostly works, as evidenced by the opening song “The Bray Road Beast” and latter track “Nightingale.”
Unlike those underrated and incredible previous works, The Besnard Lakes have fashioned something less epic and more tightly wound this time around. The songs don’t stretch out into seven- or eight-minute territory as you might expect.
Typically, though, recommending The Besnard Lakes is a tough sell. You can tell this album is about something, but what that something is, I’m not entirely sure.
On previous albums, I went with the subject matter (UFOs, politics, spies? Sure, why not?), and the music took me to that place. Now, I’m dumbfounded, looking at my computer screen flashing a song called “Towers Sent Her to Sheets of Sound.”
That mystery used to be part of the band’s charm. Now, it’s an annoyance. The music is still enough to make the Dude bob his head in the back of a taxi cab, but the message is a mouthful.