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4.3 out of 5 stars52
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 7 April 2014
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Savages were the anti-Haim: an all-female post-punk band with little regard for pop credibility but wholeheartedly committed to espousing a fiery DIY punk attitude in everything they do. In a year which saw Pussy Riot languishing in a prison cell and proving that Vladimir Putin is almost certainly not a punk rocker, Savages’ Silence Yourself is Exhibit A in proving that there is nothing more rousing than a female front woman channeling Siouxsie Sioux, as the short-haired Jehnny Beth does here in a series of anguished yelps evocative of The Pop Group’s Y.

From the riot-inducing bassline to the shipwreck-summoning psiren of Jehnny Beth’s voice on ‘Shut Up’, Savages have a canny knack of creating the sort of music which feels completely familiar, sharing DNA with the likes of Public Image Ltd and even Joy Division in their love of ominous foreboding. The anthemic riffs on ‘She Will’ and ‘Husbands’ certainly sound like long-lost cousins to the Au Pairs and immediately give you the impression that Savages are musically far more capable of transcending post-punk, but this genre is clearly just a matter of providing uniformity for them.

Where Savages stand apart is that they feel utterly sincere in recalling the era of the ‘no wave’ movement, with Jehnny Beth in particular coming across like a quasi-feminist pariah who stands out starkly in today’s fickle musical landscape. Karen O is an obvious musical forebear, but Savages are anything but garage rock revivalists, especially since Silence Yourself makes many obvious overtures to atonality and dissosance in a way which the Yeah Yeah Yeahs never quite had the bravery to do.

In spite of this, the songs themselves shine through the discordance and are obviously very structured – these girls know what they’re doing, which is why the riffs are so potent – saddling Silence Yourself with an air of being rehearsed to the hilt. For this reason, any claim to be torchbearers of punk’s amateurish aesthetic is rather redundant because Savages are clearly better musicians than this album implies, particularly on tracks like ‘No Face’ which appears to suggest a Black Sabbath influence in its Tony Iommi-esque closure.

For all of their post-punk bluster, however, where Savages truly excel is in playing a distinctive attitude-laced brand of rock ‘n’ roll as a vehicle for an implied message of women’s lib. Clearly, this is more progressive than what Haim did, but Silence Yourself may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s noisy, angular and rather provocative, but it’s a very good listen, and a much-needed reminder that music made by women doesn’t necessarily have to be pink and fluffy to make an impact.
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on 7 May 2013
This is a fantastic debut album and it's great to hear from a band with such ferocious passion in an age where most artists seem rather indifferent to what they are doing. Silence Yourself even has the band's manifesto written on the covers and its message couldn't be anymore relevant in our age of constant distractions and babbling.

So they have the substance and thankfully, the talent to match it. Savages built their reputation on their ferocious live performances and it is only a minor quibble that the album doesn't live up to that. But again, bands that are stronger live than on album are another rarity and this album is excellently put together.

You can hear right away the influences behind the Savages music, but Jehnny Beth's wail is out of this world, completely original and surprisingly diverse; she has an excellent way of phrasing words that really separates her from the herd. For the most part she uses her voice like the music behind her, to confront the listener, to demand them to hear what she has to say, which brings me onto the lyrics, which are quite excellent and biting.

For the most part, the album does have a unified sound, which is deliberately confrontational and sparse, with no fancy showmanship to detract from the band's message. Most of the songs are lean, harsh, some, like Strife and Hit Me, even suggest an almost metal-head influence behind the band, which isn't that hard to believe. But even this album has its moodier pieces, the first coming right in the middle of the album with Waiting For A Sign and the Instrumental, Dead Nature. It is a very sudden change of pace and while Dead Nature is pretty meandering, it gives the listener a breath before they continue with the onslaught with She Will, rounding up the album with their best tracks, like Hit Me and the Patti-Smith esque, Husbands, particularly when Jehnny Beth repeats the title.

The album ends on another moodier piece, the Gothic Torch song Marshal Dear, whose outro includes a sudden outburst of Clarinet. It is a peculiar choice but it works and hints that the Savages can be a little experimental should they choose to be.

Overall this is a worthwhile album and strong contender for best debut of the year. The Savages show excellent promise and hopefully they will only improve.
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This album (or at least, the drummer) was recommended to me by the wonderful Drummer's Journal (check out their Facebook page) - and any magazine that likes Evelyn Glennie and Bill Bruford HAS to be a good bet, and so I splashed out on this album sound unheard.

Admission: I am a VERY old Van Der Graaf and King Crimson fan, who has also collected the works of Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins (amongst many others)... so what have we here?

Drums - Loud, Fierce, Crisp
Bass - Stunning, reminds me of the Stranglers - Cutting, Crunching, but very Clear
Guitar - Noise, Howls, Screeching above the tremendous rhythm section
Vocals - Perfectly suited to the above Holocaust

Not sure what genre (if any) this fits into... Heavy Rock, Metal, Punk - all sorts of echoes of music from the last 50 years... I am really enjoying this :-)
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on 16 February 2014
I'm always listening out for new music and this female fronted troupe is a double-barrel blast of intrigue and joy.
I first heard single: She Will on the BBCs 6 Music and at the time had no idea who I was listening to, but digging around here on Amazon some months later yielded up this their début record.
I don't think there are enough women in music, so it is particularly satisfying to find that this band has an all female line up, who are themselves fans of the kind of spiky music they themselves have given us here, some of the influences certainly appeal to me and the ones that I don't know about all conspire to work in this recordings overall favour.
I certainly believe this collective have oodles of potential and this new fan looks forward to whatever these ladies come up with next.
So if you like some sharp spiky heartfelt melancholic music, my favourite kind, I would recommend acquiring. I wonder if Siouxsie Sioux is a fan....

Update. It is now early April and this CD has not been out of my portable player, the songs have grown and grown I just adore the vocalist and I wish I could get to see them live.
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on 12 May 2013
I don't have the benefit of seeing a live performance so I can't compare, I know that often the live experience is better. That aside as someone who has only listened to the this recorded material I can thoroughly recommend this album. It does have echos of Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees and a little of the Ruts mixed in too, for me a definite 5 *
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on 17 May 2013
I rate this band very highly, these are a group of musicians who take their craft seriously, just check out their live gig`s on U-Tube , these are skilled musicians and performers, and this is a fantastic almbum, I love it.
If you thing " The Smiths" or "Jefferson Airplane with Grace Slick" ,bands who have something too say, it may give you a hint. Do`nt compare them too anyone though, they are unique.......Buy the album and see`s great I love it !
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on 23 August 2013
Best debut in years- contagious post-punk done the way it should be: Strong-punchy vocals, prominent bass, fierce guitar and clear tight drums. Whilst Savages can be seen as taking a nod to the post-punk pioneers of Gang of four and Joy Division etc. they bring it into the 21st century and make their own sound. I would definitely recommend anyone seeing these live if you haven't already, Jehnny Beth (the lead vocalist) had the audience in the palm of her hand when I went to see them!
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on 3 August 2013

What a fantastic album. I heard them on Jools Holland and liked what I heard very much.

I took a chance and got the album and it has quickly become one of my favourites.

Girls with a ton of attitude and style.

Loved every minute of it.

Might have to buy another, it's starting to melt in the player.

Buy it, max the volume and enjoy.

I'm sure you won't regret it!
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on 14 March 2016
Just average. I didn't like the LP at first, then it grew on me as I listen to it when running and at least it's good for making my feet move more quickly, esp Husbands. But beyond that it really is very limited and completely unoriginal. Compare this to Sleater Kinney or Siouxsie and the Banshees, and see beyond the hype. In fact I'd love to know what Siouxsie thinks of it, very flattered or completely incredulous.
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on 22 June 2013
Track 1 fantastic. Tracks 2 and 3 also great. Good sci-fi guitar work. Very stylish and a skilled mess. Rest of the album ok but with highs and lows. The vocals are the most interesting I have heard in a long time. Ignore the similarities and open your mind. I hope they gain great success and keep the attitude that's missing from many new bands these days. Very cool band. No category but full of 'punk'.
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