ALBUM REVIEW: Savages - Adore Life

Savages ... Adore Life (Matador Records).
Savages ... Adore Life (Matador Records).
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Despite earning a Mercury nomination and justifying much of the hype heralding Savages' arrival, there's no denying the debt the Londoners' 2013 debut Silence Yourself owed to its influences.

They never stretched so far as imitation, yet it was practically impossible not to hear the quartet's jagged, intense post-punk and not recall the likes of Public Image Ltd, PJ Harvey and especially Siouxsie and the Banshees.

This follow-up too is hardly a hub of innovation, but what's key is that it's the sound of a group seeking to establish their own path.

Indeed, while Adore Life makes a point of retaining the serrated guitars squealing feedback which punctuated its predecessor, the draw of its 10 tracks is the clear advancement in their writing.

The Answer, for instance, is a relentless, breakneck opener, driven by a frantic, pummeling guitar assault that's exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure.

This acts as a precursor to other high octane numbers, with the likes of Sad Person and T.I.W.Y.G. packing a similarly visceral punch.

The extraordinary counterweight is Adore, a restrained slow-burner whose poise and minimal tension eventually succumb to a thunderous, almost Swans-like climax.

It's the high point of a return that's not only assured and progressive, but also raises hope that their best music still lies ahead.