Savages – I Am Here (EP) (Pop Noire Records)

‘I Am Here’ is a four track live EP from new and hotly tipped London post-punk act Savages  recorded on their recent UK sold out tour with fellow newcomers, Palma Violets (read our review of their single ‘Best of Friends’).

This EP follows the release (and subsequent re-release) of the Savages debut single ‘Husbands / Flying To Berlin’ back in May. Where many bands today focus on sleekly recorded and highly produced albums meticulously edited in Pro Tools, the very fact that Savages have released a “warts and all” live recording (and so early in their career) as a document to capture the rawness, energy and spirit of their music should tell you something about their intention as a unit. Like their post-punk heroes before them, Savages set out to question and disrupt the status quo and what better way of summoning and capturing the tension and raw energy of the songs than through live performance?

The first two tracks on the EP were recorded in Nottingham, while tracks three and four were recorded in Bristol. ‘City’s Full’ perfectly illustrates the tension within the band’s music; a juxtaposition of a tight rhythm section and jarring guitars creating one hell of racket. It’s not all noise though, at only 3:40 in length, the songwriting is direct and hooky with strong late 70’s / early 80’s traits.

When listening to Savages, it’s impossible not to mention Siouxsie and The Banshees or Au-Pairs, or perhaps more recently Esben And The Witch. Not only musically do they share similarities but vocally Jehnny Beth sounds like a 2012 incarnation of Siouxsie herself.

‘Give Me A Gun’ continues with the same intensity and feverish speed while the delicate breakdown that occurs at the 2:00 mark gives the audience a moment’s respite. However, in actual fact, this middle section only serves to create unnerving anticipation before the band launch back in.

Emerging from the rubble of guitar squeals that introduces ‘I Am Here’, a solid drum and bass rhythm takes form. Guitars take a backseat during the verses, colouring the song with darkened textures before bursting into a quintessential gothic riff at 1:45. When Jehnny climaxes with “I Am Here” over and over during the song’s final 30 seconds it truly sounds like Savages are about to implode.

The final song, ‘Husbands’, demonstrates the band’s ability not only to reproduce the magic on the recording but turn up the tension to boiling point. Live, ‘Husbands’ sounds even more abrasive, chaotic and confrontational.

The EP is another brilliant taster that indicates that Savages recorded are one thing but live they are an even more menacing beast.

‘I Am Here’ was released digitally today, 30 September. The EP will also be available on 12” vinyl from 10 October and is available to pre-order from the Savages website now.

Watch the trailer for the  ‘I Am Here’ EP below: