Silent, enigmatic, and vicious, Savages sonically obliterated Mercury Lounge last Friday. With hardly a word between songs and barely a moment’s rest, Savages launched barrage after barrage of rhythmically brutal, bass heavy, post-punk malice.
In an attempt to stand out from the cacophony online, bloggers readily veer towards ridiculous hyperbole, however I mean this in the sincerest of ways – Savages’ set at Mercury Lounge was an event, a rare moment in time that will doubtlessly be talked about as the band hurtles onward to dizzying levels of indie darling-hood. Like the name of an exotic cheese loudly uttered at pretentious parties, hepcats will be telling anyone that will listen about the time they saw Savages at Mercury Lounge.
Never before have I witnessed such a minimal set. No banter, no small talk – just wave after wave of music that left eardrums tattooed and perforated. Bathing the audience in their heavily Joy Division inspired sound that’s been updated with the guitar screeches and howls of shoe gaze, Savages left no time to catch your breath, let alone process what was occurring.
It’s rare to see bands today that can cut through our collective consciousness that has been deadened by the ubiquity of readily available caffeine, prescription drugs, cheap booze, and sex, but Savages is a flurry of fresh air that stands a cut above the rest of the bands out there right now.
No obvious jangling 50s rock references, no sugary sweet 60s pop inspiration, no dance floor ready electronic beats, Savages inhabits a unique space in the current world of music – similar to Television in the mid-70s, Joy Division in the late 70s, and dare I say it, the Strokes in the early aughts. Lofty references I know, but since that moment, just a few months ago, when Savages burst from out of nowhere as a fully-formed band replete with a coherent sound and aesthetic they’ve pummeled growing audiences with their audacious brand of post-punk.
In the span of only a few short months, they’ve released a freakishly good EP, sold out shows faster than Swedish House Mafia (not that I like the band, it’s just absurd how quickly they can sell out shows), and have been the subject of Hedi Slimane’s lens. Needless to say, this band’s headed places. My only fear is that the intense adoration, rocket-like rise, and close scrutiny in such a short amount of time will have an adverse effect, but I’d love to be proven wrong. Well, if their star does ever burn out, we’ll always have Mercury Lounge.
Have a gander at some raw footage taken by some nice folks who took the time to film it, I on the other hand, was far too busy thrashing about like a mad man to do anything.