Savages and Palma Violets – Live

13 Aug

The Haunt, Brighton: Tuesday, August 12, 2012

Savages and Palma Violets have been hyped to the hilt with expectations stoked by both bands refusal to spill their songs all over the internet.

The chatter has intensified, even though the former are yet to sign a deal, while rumour has it the latter were snapped up by Rough Trade on the back of one track.

It’d be good to know which song it was that got the fresh-faced four-piece noticed: maybe it was the Clash-addled shout-along, or the swampy, Doors number where singer Sam Fryer gives Jim Morrison a run for his money in the frenzied cool stakes. But it was probably either Best Friends or Fourteen two catchy tracks that appear to have fallen off the back of the Libertines’ lorry.

The constant, underlying Farfisa organ is just about the only original touch, but at least they have the decency to ape more than one band. And they do it ridiculously well. They’ll be huge.

Female four piece Savages are similarly proud to wear their influences on their sleeves, although they fashion their gothic post-punk into a more consistent set.

Theirs is a sound proudly rooted in 1980 with its ghostly guitar, booming bass drum and frequently single note vocals, which are occasionally punctuated by severe ‘ohs’ across the verses.

Diminutive singer Jehnny Beth, armed with little more than an icy glare, is a captivating presence, though, jerking hypnotically through the livelier moments.

These can’t really be called choruses, however, they are merely heavier extensions of whatever went before.

It’s all ruthlessly executed and supremely accomplished but, on a musical level, it’s far too self conscious to really take off. They’ve nailed the sound they wanted, but it’s at the expense of any warmth or, heaven forbid, the occasional shade of light.

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