Artist: Les Savy Fav
Release Year: 2004
Style: Genre/Indie, Genre/Punk
推荐单曲：《Hold On to Your Genre》、《We'll Make a Lover of You》
It's no secret: Les Savy Fav like to [内容被过滤，请注意论坛文明] shit up. Baldly transgressing the most basic assumptions about rock singers, the band's frontman is a pudgy, bearded, wild-eyed freak whose unpredictable stage show tends to scare off men and women alike. Their studio output varies from barked, discordant indie anthems to synth-heavy art-punk. And their new singles record, Inches, reverses all the usual rules that compilations of its ilk abide by.
For most rock bands, a singles compilation is an afterthought-- an offhanded concession to fans who may have missed out on the limited pressings. For Les Savy Fav, a singles compilation was a forethought, conceived before the band had even recorded a song for it. Now, seven years after its conception, the career-spanning project finally comes to fruition, collecting the A- and B-sides of nine seven-inches, all originally released by different labels.
For those who've been keeping up with these singles, the excellence of Inches is a foregone conclusion. While many contemporary indie bands reserve their singles for the release of marginal or subpar material, Les Savy Fav's tend to offer songs that are not only better than the band's album cuts but, despite the disparate conditions of their production, more consistent as well. For a band so prone to brilliant and exhausting outbursts, it's not surprising that their defining album would come in this form.
And without a doubt, this is Les Savy Fav's defining album. The high points on Inches are not only the finest songs the group has ever recorded, but are also the most indicative of their strengths as a band. "Our Coastal Hymn", released in live form as a hidden track on The Cat and the Cobra, is possibly the catchiest song in their entire repertoire-- hook after blistering hook, all energized by the band's trademark frenetic grandiosity. Never overpowered by its angularity, "Our Coastal Hymn" is less an anthemic punk song than it is a pointy anthem, unconventionally catchy and tremendously forceful.
Tracing the band's chronology backwards, Inches shows Les Savy Fav continually reshaping and revitalizing their sound with new textures, and expanding their palette of both sounds and approaches to recording. The album's newest track, "Meet Me in the Dollar Bin", is a sparse and direct dance-punk epic, with Harrison Haynes' terse, robotic drumming perfectly anchoring frontman Tim Harrington's pained screams. Les Savy Fav's most recent LP, Go Forth largely failed to sustain itself, as the band's energy was substantially defused by Phil Ek's production, but Inches' diverse pacing allows even the Ek-produced "Fading Vibes," on which the band revisits the more straightforward guitar-rock sound of their first album, to stand out as one of the best and most unique recent Les Savy Fav tracks.
Of all the remarkable tracks on Inches, "Yawn Yawn Yawn" remains my personal favorite. Here, Seth Jabour's endlessly inventive guitar playing is in top form, masterfully and subtly building from a clean, rhythmic figure in the verse to a soaring, distorted chorus. Lyrically, the song is further proof that Harrington has more in common with Daniel Bejar and John Darnielle than he does with his harder-rocking contemporaries. Like many of Les Savy Fav's songs, "Yawn Yawn Yawn" explores themes such as sex, partying, decadence and disaster. And, as usual, Harrington relishes his words like a storyteller, delivering them with both conviction and humor.
The first pressing of Inches comes with a bonus DVD that further solidifies its status as Les Savy Fav's most essential and representative release. Videos of three songs from a 2003 performance at Brooklyn's Northsix provides a welcome glimpse of the awe-inspiring Les Savy Fav live experience. Although Harrington's theatrics are usually the most frequently discussed aspect of Les Savy Fav's live show, the distance provided by the footage puts the emphasis largely on the virtuosity and spontaneity of the band's individual players. And the video of "Who Rocks the Body" is just [内容被过滤，请注意论坛文明]ing hilarious, as Harrington asks a stuffed rabbit, "Who rocks the party that rocks the bunny?"
Unfortunately, Harrington's notorious live antics have resulted in many people writing off Les Savy Fav as a joke or a novelty. And without a doubt, the band's previous recorded output has largely failed to demonstrate the musical prowess spoken of by their fans. But Les Savy Fav have always demonstrated a uniquely off-kilter sense of humor, and it seems strangely fitting that the very album their fans have been waiting for has, in fact, been underway since the band formed. With Inches, Les Savy Fav brings together a full seven years of solid musicianship, deviously catchy songwriting, and explosive punk rock energy, discarding all the gratuitous dissonance and convoluted song structures that often plague "post-punk." Finally, this is Les Savy Fav.
-Matt LeMay, April 22nd, 2004
1. Meet Me in the Dollar Bin
2. Hold On to Your Genre
3. We'll Make a Lover of You
4. Fading Vibes
5. The Sweat Descends
6. Knowing How the World Works
7. Hello Halo, Goodbye Glands
8. Obsessed With The Excess
9. One Way Widow
10. Yawn. Yawn, Yawn
11. No Sleeves
12. Reprobates Resume
13. Reformat (Live)
14. Reformat (Dramatic Reading)
15. Bringing Us Down
16. Our Coastal Hymn
17. Blackouts on Thursday