Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

“City’s Full” by Savages

Savages-Silence-Yourself

“City’s Full” is track #3 on the album Silence Yourself, which you can find in our Rock section: 781.66 SAV

Track #32 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist

It’s hard to write about Savages without referring to all the post-punk bands they resemble. It’s so tempting to ramble on about Siouxsie this and Thurston that, but it wouldn’t really be fair to Savages who, after all, sound rather fresh to my ears. So let’s admit those retro sounds are there to begin with, but drop it here on out.

City’s Full” kicks off with a burst of echoing feedback and guitar noise, which guitarist Gemma Thompson manages to conjure out of a humble Fender Duo-Sonic. It’s not just chaos. Throughout the song, and the album as a whole, Thompson seems in complete control of the instrument, letting it teeter on the edge for atmosphere, but then reigning it in for some melodic fills. The noise is so impressive it’s easy to forget how solid the rhythm section is. Bassist Ayse Hassan and drummer Fay Milton keep up a metronome groove that’s stabilizing, giving the song some pop sensibility despite the guitar noise.

For all that, it’s singer and lyricist Jehnny Beth who probably garners the most attention. She’s got a staccato sense of rhythm that breaks her lyrics into often unrecognizable syllables, and is interrupted by howls and whelps. The lyrics themselves are perfect for his kind of treatment:

So many skinny pretty girls around
Honestly, I just want to go down
Try to pretend there’s nothing wild
Why do you treat yourself so bad

City’s full of
City’s full of
City’s full of
Sissy pretty love

They’re oblique, never giving too much away, and always a bit ticked off. Urban dread? Social anxiety? Dating scene disgust? Whatever you want. There’s room for all of those in the lyrics.

So come into the library and check out Silence Yourself. You’ll find each song consistently as impressive as “City’s Full.”

Review by Matthew

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This entry was posted on August 11, 2013 by in Alternative/Indie, Music Review, Rock, Thommy Ford's Playlist.
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