Silence Yourself

BY Jazz MonroePublished May 6, 2013

Since Pop Art or earlier, serious UK artists have generally supported the idea that art and everyday life are indivisible. Popular logic, however, dictates otherwise: songs about sexual liberation, self-actualisation and social anxiety are quaint, old news, passé — why bother telling us what we already know? It's attitudes like these that London, UK post-punks Savages capably belittle on debut LP Silence Yourself. With vivacious percussion and carnivorous fretwork, the record blisters through themes of female emancipation ("She Will") and submissive sexual experiences ("Hit Me") while rebuffing our cultural addiction to irony, which is more concerned with rejecting bogus values than recognising positive ones. Considering the band's vaguely controversial, heavy stylistic debt to late '70s and '80s post-punk, there's surprising variety on Silence Yourself. Opener "Shut Up" is the volatile mid-point between Fugazi's "Waiting Room" and U2's "I Will Follow," while jazzy closer "Marshall Dear" was chiselled out during a piano session when the band were covering Black Sabbath. The album doesn't quite match their punishing live show, but neither does it betray their purpose or message: to fiercely silence the white noise of psychosocial oppression. It is one missive they convey without ambiguity.
(Matador Records)

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