The Gay Blades: Savages
New York’s The Gay Blades have been wowing audiences for the past three years with their ability to make a whole lotta noise for just two people. The duo’s debut album, Ghosts received a good amount of acclaim from sources like Absolutepunk.net and NME. On their sophomore album, Savages, the band hopes to continue their journey into the noisy pop genre.
Lead singer/guitarist James Dean Wells AKA Clark Westfield said of Ghosts “This record was the next step for our band. On Ghosts, we were creating with this almost adolescent air of irreverence, but with Savages we are just trying to be unfettered. We can’t worry about what this record is supposed to be, only what we want it to be – a collection of trashy rock songs that speak as much to the music we love as it does our own personal chemistry as a band.” That air is prevalent throughout the album. The album’s opening track “Rock ‘N Roll (Part 1)” starts off with a noisy, bluesy distorted guitar line that is reminiscent of another famous rock duo, The White Stripes but with more of a Southern rock twinge. The track shows a certain insouciance while setting the ethos for the album.
The album’s first single “Try To Understand” continues this mood. Although the track is much less noisy, it has a fun, free feel to it complete with hand claps and even the unexpected addition of horns. Clark Westfield does his best Bright Eyes impression on the vocals while in interviews, he describes the song as being about “[having] the patience we need to love those who test our love the most.”
My major complain about the album is that the energy that the beginning of the album sets does not run throughout the album. The album’s energy gets turned down a little bit midway through with “November Fight Song”. The mostly acoustic track has the same type of horns and hand claps as “Try to Understand” but the aura is completely different; it is more conservative. Then the album really slows down with “Wasted On The Youth”, a dark and moody track that reminds me more of Nine Inch Nails‘ “Hurt” than anything else on the album. The slowness continues through “Every Night Is Like a Revival”; the song is reminiscent of “Earth Angel” or a pop ballad of that ilk. The track might be more welcome earlier in the album but after “Every Night Is Like a Revival”, it seems like something that was tacked on.
Savages may not end the way I wanted but the album has a strong enough beginning and middle to overlook the mediocre ending. The album highlights the duo’s great live energy and solid pop song writing. It truly makes The Gay Blades seem like a band that worth watching.
MP3: The Gay Blades “Rock ‘N Roll (Part 1)”
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The Gay Blades: Savages