Saturday, 2 August 2008

Les Savy Fav, Let's Stay Friends

Les Savy Fav, Let’s Stay Friends
Wichita Records

It’s been six years since the last release from Les Savy Fav, a dumb move considering that their brand of noisy art-punk seriously came back in vogue in that time. No matter, with Let’s Stay Friends the Rhode Islanders are back to capitalise on their matchless live reputation with an album that’s without doubt the sharpest they’ve ever sounded. Opener ‘Pots & Pans’ is a pounding titan of a track, hinting at classic Flaming Lips; after seizing you by the earlobes it then collapses into the clattering Hives-a-like punk of ‘The Equestrian’, super-tight but with buckets of genuine DIY enthusiasm. Next, you’re plunged into the menacing cold water of ‘The Year Before The Year 2000’, a chic slice of post-punk with Gang Of Four guitars and a breakneck ending chanting the pseudo-mantra “1999! 1999’s alright!”

The real standout here though is ‘Patty Lee’, a veritable odyssey of miscellaneous brilliance taking in their trademark minimal guitars and pounding drums, funky falsetto vocals, a screeching solo and a bizarre Cure impression of hollow, reverb-soaked guitars, topped off with the dancefloor-ready shout-along, “Patty Lee turn your lights on please/ this party’s gettin’ outta hand!” Download this if nothing else.

Along with other standouts like ‘Raging In The Plague Age’ (featuring Tim Harrington’s musings on medieval sovereignty: “Being the king was pretty cool/ I'd have to say that ruling ruled”), Let’s Stay Friends may be the record that can finally equal Les Savy Fav’s thrilling live show.


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