Friday, May 10, 2013


I missed a lot of music news during my recent travails, and it's now all trickling back in like a delayed reward. All the more reason to be thankful for having a brain.

Savages, Silence Yourself. It's easy to imagine the members of Savages gathered, cell-like, subjecting the gatecrashing releases of the post-punk era -- Wire's Pink Flag, Gang of Four's Entertainment! -- to rigorous interrogation, breaking them down to their basic DNA for more efficient assimilation into their fearsomely disciplined sound. They may not be delivering anything strictly new here, but they certainly provide a thrilling recreation of the expressionistic, Kabuki shadowed birth agonies of the new as experienced through those aforementioned seminal discs all those years ago. An exhilirating release.

The Knife, Shaking the Habitual. I hope that, as long as I love them, Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer remain eccentric and provocative. On the duo's desperately awaited follow-up to Silent Shout, they once again utilize classic pop sounds, but in the service of something more disarmingly intimate and troubled than the pop spectrum normally accommodates.


Wire, Change Becomes Us. And finally, speaking of Wire, their latest compiles long overdue studio versions of songs composed during the waning days of their first incarnation, some of which were included on their great 1981 live album for Rough Trade, Document and Eyewitness. This cherry picking was probably the best strategy for hitting the high bar set by the band's previous Red Barked Tree, with the result that these elder statesmen somewhat improbably continue to rage from strength to strength as they continue into their fourth decade.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some listening to do.

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