It's hard to believe given the size of swell beneath London's Savages that, following their debut double A-side single "Flying To Berlin" / "Husbands", this live EP is only the second release by the all-girl post-punk four-piece.
Live material so early on in a band's career is unusual and can therefore probably be interpreted in one of two ways. First, given they're on the tip of everyone's tongues, would be to assume it a quick and easy way to help fund a forthcoming LP (both releases to date having appeared on lead singer's Jehnny Beth's own imprint Pop Noire). Second, and both interpretations seem valid, is that I Am Here is nothing more, nothing less than a much-demanded document capturing the band's already vaunted live shows. It takes a certain confidence to rely on non-studio material to do your marketing for you, yet the girls seem to have it in spades, claiming offhandedly they've only ever "written for the stage" anyway.
No matter, I Am Here comprises just four tracks recorded this July at Thekla in Bristol and Bodega in Nottingham. "City's Full" announces itself with low-end industrial growl through which clinical drums stab and eruptions of guitar noise blow, Beth incanting all the while some like high-priestess Siouxsie. More urgent still, "Give Me A Gun" adds high-tempo guitar slashes to the general foreboding. The title track then courses on heavy cymbal smashes and dark noise allowing Beth to tear the track apart with visceral enthusiasm at its close. Savages draw the curtain on this brief introduction to their incendiary world with "Husbands", its low-end bass line and tumbling guitars a dangerous counterpoint to Beth's erotically charged mania.
No doubt these strains of post-punk haven't been aped so well in the UK for years and Savages seem more and more "for real" with every calculated step they make. Truth be told, it's exhilarating stuff. Let's hope their head of steam can now be maintained into an explosive LP. My funding for it is hereby confirmed.
There is so much I could say about this band but I'll keep it brief..I had the pleasure of going to watch Savages a few months ago and it was the best gig I've witnessed in a number years (and I go to alot of gigs). This live EP is brilliant, if you like your music on the heavier side and want to hear something refreshing you should buy this.
Sopme people seem to think they're a bit pretentious - I don't care making music like this. Very derivative but that's not necessarily a bad thing when you do it well and they do. Can hear the early banshees in there and maybe a bit of Bauhaus and hint of Joy division. Loads of bollocks to it. Excellent debut. Would be five stars based on how excited I got during my first listen but I calmed down a bit after listening to it five times in two days (not many bands can make me listen to an album that many times these days - never mind in two days). Overall very impressed with these ladies and would love to see them live. Please come to Swansea (Hardly anyone good and new ever does).