Savages aren’t fucking around. Within the first five seconds of new single “T.I.W.Y.G.”, singer Jehnny Beth is already going for the throat, with a threat that feels a lot more like a promise: “This is what you get when you mess with love!” The UK post-punk outfit has never been anything less than immediate, visceral and, at times, white-knuckle intense. But this is a step up from even that. Following the sludgy, galloping gait of “The Answer,” the first single released from their upcoming album Adore Life, “T.I.W.Y.G.” feels more direct, more laser-focused. That song was a snarling beast, but this one is going straight for the kill.
Beth is the one delivering the message, but it’s the roar of the song’s arrangement itself that carries the full weight of it. Drummer Fay Milton is the track’s MVP, her taut rhythms transitioning between tense hi-hat taps, a rollicking post-punk groove and a full-blown explosion of bass and cymbal that actually, yeah, kind of sounds like a blast beat. “T.I.W.Y.G.” doesn’t necessarily find Savages going black metal, but there’s more than a trace of its visceral darkness here. Less surprising than the attempt, however, is how comfortably and fluidly these elements combine with Savages’ more characteristic post-punk approach. With their debut album Silence Yourself, Savages balanced a seething menace with an accessible, even danceable sensibility. As its follow-up draws nearer, the more palpable that menace grows, and it’s utterly thrilling.[from Adore Life, out Jan. 22; Matador]
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.