Did you notice how much the new release from Radiohead has been welcomed by the exhausted people of rock as a “national shelter”? A modest album by a band that refuses every archetype of rock culture, and who refuses responsibility of the survival of rock, has become the redeeming event of the year. It seems like we are desperately looking for a trace that rock is not dead (listen to the new single of Red Hot Chili Peppers and it will be difficult to say that it is alive), but my impression is that we are chasing the wrong prey. And that we are underestimating the band that could save rockn’roll: Savages.
This all-women english band, with the French frontwoman Jenny Beth, introduced itself three years ago with Silence Yourself, a post punk manifesto generated by a fusion of Siouxie and the Banshees approach and voice, Bauhaus dark attitude and a Patty Smith-like ability to tell stories. Silence Yourself was a warning, with its energy, anxiety, tension: we are THE rock band and no Radiohead is the answer. They were right. The album was a kick in the ass to everyone thinks Coldplay are a rock band. The only criticism was that they are a bit derivative to post punk, but you can easily answer back that everything is derivative nowadays and that post punk sound is the right sound for these nervous times.
With Adore Life (out last January via Matador) band strike back, stronger thanks to a frequent live activity, to confirm their messages in music with the same formula. Same tension, energy, will to provoke reaction and reflection. Adore Life treats love in its dark sides, as an ambiguous and contradictory thing, because if you adore life you cannot avoid suffering, crying and failing. From the threatening guitars of “The Answer” to the 4/4 desperate cry of “Evil”, from the totally Patty Smith lament of “Adore” to the claustrophobic Bauhaus sound of “I Need Something New”, Savages tell us that we can adore these difficult times if we treat the dark parts as the bright ones.
In Adore Life you will find a sense for rock’n’roll. I am not talking about a masterpiece, I am talking about how to survive.