Live: Terror Brooding. Savages, Rich Mix.

Not much is made of good band names these days, with emphasis only on the bad and the irrefutably ugly but Savages, the moniker of a menacing, quite precariously hyped London four-piece currently spewing charisma and gusto out from the doorways of dimly lit haunts, is a fucking brilliant one. Fitting such billing are the songs themselves: a purposeful bluster of diligent agitation, they're ones to watch out for before they creep up and ferociously shred your every niggling fear that guitars and the distorted grunge they secrete are dying, dead, expired or some such bullshit. Savages need not be branded saviours nor any equivalent to settle a dispute that is ultimately unspeakably irrelevant but by God are they themselves worth speaking about, squawking over and bloody well adoring.
The boyish fringe and aloof yet endearing demeanour have had immediately, almost inconceivably striking vocalist Jehnny Beth likened to Mr. Curtis so frequently that to term her 'Ian in high heels' is not only mildly krass but now also nigh on clich├ęd. Her presence in itself however is quite wonderfully potent: tranquil yet with a glimmer of clamourous rage in pupils dilated enough for even the ego of Ariel Pink to drown in, having intertwined herself with the genetic fibres of Gallic slo-fi outfit John & Jehn (along with Savages guitarist Gemma Thompson) the timidity demonstrated as she enters stage-left is instantaneously devoured by an infallible swagger; the resolute confidence of evenings spent enthralling as effortlessly as she does right here, right now. If only once the lights have been dimmed at her rather stern request...

A veritably blistering opening salvo of City's Full, I Am Here and Hit Me insinuates that the omnipresent British Sea Power parallel shows little sign of ebbing away all that soon, the trio sounding overtly akin to their Brighton cronies at their most fleetingly ferocious (in other words to The Spirit of St. Louis). Beth however demonstrates little care for such superfluous comparison as she growls, shivers, quakes and jives through their thirty, stamping on the pedals that instil a great terror in her impeccable vocals as though they were irksomely inextinguishable Marlboro butts. Eventually the allegorical distance between she and we (for physically the quartet are tonight as flickers-of-spit-in-the-face as the songs themselves) diminishes: "Are you OK? We're Savages." The reposte to her inquisition may only be a resolute absolutely; the response to her latter affirmation a sensation of unearthed revolution. She enquires prior to the jittery jangle of Give Me A Gun, its designation on scrawled setlist seeming to trade 'Gun' with 'Fun' and whilst that'd pertain to a gramatically unorthodox vernacular to be classed as both bad and ugly, the track itself proffers a great deal of 'Fun'. In a dearth and dank manner, of course. Flying To Berlin meanwhile sounds like Echoes-era The Rapture trodden down unapologetically into soggy forest floor (before the New Yorkers quite lamentably lost it obviously), whilst the workmanlike efficiency and thunder of Husbands, Thompson's harmonics adding to the harmonious dissonance of the overall aesthetic, demonstrates a precise conciseness missing from much music experienced in such gentrified surrounds way out east.

In fact perhaps the only qualm with Savages (beyond the exasperatingly distinct lack of digestible material available, online or otherwise) is that they're almost too ideal a band. For each song from their eight-strong setlist reeks of a sagacious intellect and each translates immaculately to a live context: they know precisely what they're doing and they're doing it ludicrously well. It's arguably the sort of murky strand of dead evocative post-punk any indie would trade away all publishing rights to have indelibly etched into their books; ready headliners set to blossom like the wreath of blooming rose sprawled out across the stage. Indeed in addition, there's enough colour in the set and polychromatism in the glare emanating from overhead spotlights to dispel the notion of Savages as a two-dimensional, black and white band as every promo photo and that one video would have us believe as beneath a darkened sky there's something quite brilliant, and once the fish inevitably bite there's enough hooks to keep an oceanic expanse enthused. The weather can't feasibly be worse come September 1st and certainly it's indubitably worth frequenting The 1234 Shoreditch for Savages' show alone...