"For anyone even vaguely interested in angry music, the 2016 benchmark has been set."
After blowing minds with their remarkable debut album in 2013, the hype around Savages was huge. That this young band could not only fulfil this hype but blow it out of the water is a remarkable achievement.
Largely, Adore Life does away with the overt Joy Division-reminiscent post-punk of the band's past, replacing it with a fierce noise-rock aesthetic. What separates this album from the deluge of similar releases from angry young punks though is its positivity. Not many bands could open an album telling you that "love is the answer" over a barrage of looping guitar noise and make it seem genuine.
While the heavy hitting one-two punch of lead singles The Answer and T.I.W.Y.G. promised top form, Savages still manage to surprise and inspire throughout this masterwork of a record. Rarer has singer Jehnny Beth been in more fine form than on the title track, searching for answers, "Is it human to ask for more? Is it human to adore life?" It's this tone that permeates the record, which explores the small moments and anxieties of life in an intimate yet exhilarating way. On Sad Person, it's empathy and accusation that the foursome ebb and flow between, never letting you feel at ease in either position.
Adore Life is an unapologetic and brave record, serving as a reminder of the power of guitar-driven rock'n'roll. The intimacy and ferocity of the album may prove too much for some, but for anyone even vaguely interested in angry music, the 2016 benchmark has been set.
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