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SAVAGES

Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

Soul Flowers Of Titan

    From a far out moon beyond the rings of Saturn to a dingy studio in Cincinnati, Barrence Whitfield and the Savages' new platter embraces a cosmic and groovy unification. It's a wild, electric phantasmagoria of blues, rock, garage, and soul; it blasts off into diverse orbits only to come back together into a singular Savage cosmology. BW&S shot out of Boston in the mid-'80s with the force of a rocket ship. Through their sweaty dance party shows and love of primal soul, they were to R&B what the Cramps were to rockabilly-a gateway musical drug for nascent underground roots mavens.

    It’s about change and the power to change. It’s about metamorphosis and evolution. It’s about sticking to your guns and toughing it out. It’s about now, not tomorrow. It’s about recognizing your potential. It’s about self-doubt and inaction. It’s about you. It’s about me. It’s about you and me and the others. It’s about the choices we make. It’s about finding the poetry and avoiding the cliché. It’s about being the solution, not the problem. It’s about showing weakness to be strong. It’s about digging through your dirt to look for diamonds. It's about claiming your right to think unacceptable thoughts. It’s about boredom and the things we do to drive it away. It’s about being on your own so you can be with people. It’s about knowing what it means to be human and what it might mean one day. It’s about the parts and the sum of the parts. It's about the music and the message: together, one and the same. It’s about bass, guitars, drums and vocals. It’s about opening-out and never, ever dying. But most of all it’s about love, every kind of love. Love is the answer.

    Savages’ second album Adore Life was recorded in RAK Studios, London in April 2015. Johnny Hostile was the producer and Richard Woodcraft the engineer. Anders Trentmöller took care of the mixing in Copenhagen. 

    TRACK LISTING

    The Answer
    Evil
    Sad Person
    Adore
    I Need Something New
    Slowing Down The World
    When In Love
    Surrender
    TIWYG
    Mechanics

    Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

    Under The Savage Sky

      "Barrence Whitfield is a treasure, with unbelievable pipes, an unimpeachable discography (with great taste in cover tunes) and undeniable appeal." – POPMATTERS "Showcases a wild musical abandon." - USA TODAY

      When asked about the methods and the madness behind capturing the scorched earth soul of Under the Savage Sky, guitarist Peter Greenberg explained that the band was eager for something "harder and garagier" than their previous record, while still connecting with the energy and originality of the classics. Given that the previous release, Dig Thy Savage Soul (their 2013 Bloodshot debut and first U.S. release in a couple decades), was a 12-round sonic knockout, the R&B wallop of Under the Savage Sky may very well stand for ‘Roundhouse & Beatdown.’ There’s no harder hitter than frontman Barrence Whitfield of Boston, MA. When he hits the boards with the Savages, you’re either gonna ride the energy or be crushed by it. We’re talking Joe Louis, Howlin’ Wolf, Wilson Pickett, Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Barrence has what these greats all possessed, the one thing a trainer cannot teach a fighter: a lust for mayhem.

      The wilder, louder, more insane the Savages bring it, the more BW is ready to attack the mic, to bring it high, to bring it low, to wear you down on the ropes, and eventually drop you. With the raw vocals, thick and nasty guitar tones, and preternaturally locked-in rhythm section, Under the Savage Sky might be the most soulful punk record - or perhaps the most punk soul record - you’ve ever heard. Compact, three minute-or-less blasts rocket back to the explosive heydays of The Dirtbombs and genre godfathers The Sonics. Under The Savage Sky rains soul and brimstone from the heavens. Keep your eyes to the sky... ain’t no umbrella gonna help you here.

      With its raw vocals, thick and nasty guitar tones, and preternaturally locked-in rhythm section, Under the Savage Sky might be the most soulful punk record (or the most punk soul record) you’ve ever heard, raining soul and brimstone from the heavens.

      Shindig Issue #49 - superb 4**** review "rocks like a broken gate in a hurricane, this recording is in your face and in your feet".

      Savages & Bo Ningen

      Words To The Blind

        Bo Ningen and Savages announce a collaborative recording to be released by Stolen Recordings.

        ‘Words To The Blind’ comprises of one 37-minutes long track. Taking their cross fertilisation a step further, following occasional live appearances together and Savages’ Jehnny Beth guesting on Bo Ningen’s current album ‘III’, ‘Words To The Blind’ is an astonishing piece of work, a ‘sonic poem’ inspired by the Dadaist concept of the ‘Simultaneous Poem’.

        Papercuts

        Life Among The Savages

          It’s a rare to come across an artist who’s equally skilled in songwriting, singing and production but lone-arranger Jason Quever, better known as San Francisco’s Papercuts, is a master of all trades. That the pocket-sized symphonies of brand new album ‘Life Among The Savages’ are set to see the light of day is through nothing but meticulous focus - due to his whizz-kid knack for instrumental arrangement, Quever often finds himself a sought-after musical collaborator.

          As with each Papercuts album to date - 2004’s ‘Mockingbird’, 2007’s ‘Can’t Go Back’, 2009’s ‘You Can Have What You Want’, and 2011’s ‘Fading Parade’ - Quever recorded his latest offering on his Ampex 2” 16-track reel-to-reel in his home studio, Pan American, whittling the record down to its essentials over a two year period. It was there he worked alongside Port O’Brien, Beach House, Still Flyin’, The Skygreen Leopards, and most recently Galaxy 500’s Dean Wareham on their own recordings. “Galaxy 500 was a big influence on my music so it was very special to make a record with him that I’m really proud of,” says Quever. “More importantly, we had a great time doing it.”

          Unassuming though ambitious, a life in demand was hardly of Quever’s expectations but such a skill set could never be kept secret for long. “I don’t want to hit people over the head. That’s just not who I am. I don’t necessarily like to be the centre of attention,” he’s often said. Yet ‘Life Among The Savages’ is about to do precisely that. The most concise and lucid Papercuts release to date, it demonstrates a uniquely fresh approach to classic instrumentation through shrewdly combining dreamy baroque pop string arrangements with lighter-than-air vocals via potent production work.

          While Papercuts echoes bands like Spiritualized and The Zombies in mood, ambitious orchestration (the title track itself contains an arrangement contribution from Beach House’s Alex Scally) and the high-calibre dream pop of beautifully hypnotic tracks such as ‘Staring At the Bright Lights’, the sound on ‘Life Among The Savages’ is undeniably Quever’s own. Alongside haunting melodies that soar over strings, garagey guitar hooks, piano and mellotron, and energetic bass and drums that never rely on a clichéd beat, it’s impossible to refrain from being spellbound by Quever's unpredictable and chaotic world, whatever that may consist of.

          “I like to write short stories, at least have the story in my mind and allude to it... from dystopian short stories to a utopian take on things, being outside looking in, alienation, search for bliss, the chaos of relationships, insanity, suicide...”

          Having lost both of his parents and being orphaned at a young age before growing up on a commune, Quever is no stranger to the complexities life can bring. Crediting the four-track he got after his parents died with both helping him cope and inspiring his career, ‘Life Among The Savages’ is the next step in a musical trajectory that’s gently reshaping pop music in the way very few musicians know how.

          Barrence Whitfield And The Savages

          Dig Thy Savage Soul

            Boston’s legendary Barrence Whitfield & The Savages’ new album Dig Thy Savage Soul is a wealth of atomic-powered, sock it to me R&B and rock & roll hoodoo. Barrence, possessing otherworldly pipes that range from a low feral growl rumbling the nether regions to a scream that would make Little Richard blush, belts out originals and crate-diver covers with the formidable and aptly-named Savages. They keep his back with a punk rock grit and blues ferocity that lives in the frets between Chuck Berry and Jack White. Together, Barrence & the Savages lay down a groovy racket that’s so thick and greasy, you need moist towelettes near the hi-fi.

            Dipping their gut-bucket deep into the well of America’s dirty musical soul, Barrence & the Savages’ sound is a sweaty elixir that enlivens, exorcises, and energizes on Dig Thy Savage Soul. “The Corner Man” bursts out of the gate, as much a child of the Sonics as a father to the Dirtbombs; it’s the Savage-Mobile neutral-slamming out of the garage. “My Baby Didn’t Come Home” and the love letter to the iconoclastic Oscar Levant (a man in chaos in search of frenzy...Google it, man.) burn with a roguish swamp mojo; bonus points for the killer jump-soul horn section. On “Daddy’s Gone to Bed” and the badass Jerry McCain tune “Turn Your Damper Down,” Peter Greenberg’s guitar plays like the lost Sun Records collaboration between Howlin’ Wolf and Carl Perkins. “Hangman’s Token” starts as a low-fi hill country shimmy harkening back to the early days of Fat Possum Records that then explodes into a tasty hard rock feast.

            Out front, Barrence is preaching to a congregation we definitely want to join. “Bread,” a Bobby Hebb B-side done with a Glimmer Twin strut, has Barrencematter-of-factly distilling all the nuance, confusion, and frustration of any relationship into the simple inarguable truth: “Only one thing in this here world/ to make you popular with all the girls/ and that’s BREAD/ that’s what I said.” Lee Moses’s “I’m Sad About It” is a slow burn gospel headbanger, conjuring a completely unhinged Al Green tossing sweat and blood soaked scarves from a fiery pulpit. Sho’ nuff. Where’s that towelette, again?


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