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Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends

Les Savy Fav, Let's Stay Friends

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

IT’S been nearly six years since Les Savy Fav released a full album of new material and while Let’s Stay Friends boasts some strong moments, it fails to convince entirely that the comeback was warranted.

Les Savy Fav are Tim Harrington (vocals), Seth Jabour (guitars), Syd Butler (bass) and Harrison Haynes (drums) and since forming in 1995, they’ve grown into a Brooklyn based outfit considered among the godfathers of the independent rock music scene.

Their comeback is very much a statement of intent concerning their unwillingness to give up, as well as a resolution to defy the forces that wear away at innocence and enthusiasm.

As musicians, the record declares their ultimate goals of being together, writing and performing on their own terms, loosed from the thicket of the professional independent music business that has grown up around them.

It’s a record about exploring the challenge of keeping sight of one’s true nature in a rapidly shifting world.

And it’s delivered at fairly breakneck pace. The band may have lost some of the aggression of their earliest work – but it’s still brimming with powerful hooks, shouted vocals and thunderous drums.

Opening track Pots & Pans gets things off to a fine start, slow-building atmospherically and hinting at the art-rock style of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Flaming Lips, before The Equestrian positively blows the cobwebs from the stereo with an effort of fiery rage.

The Year Before The Year 2000 is a highlight, as is the richly melodic What Would Wolves Do? (which shares many similarities with the style of Bloc Party), while Kiss Kiss Is Getting Old trades well on some boy-girl vocals that offset each other well.

Comes & Goes, meanwhile, has some really strong guitar riffs running throughout and a good, if repetitive, chorus to enhance the sing-along value.

But even though such moments are rewarding and go some way to explaining why Les Savy Fav are so highly regarded, there’s also a sense that where once they were blazing a trail for independent rock, they’re now merely keeping up with their contemporaries.

Download picks: Never Be The Same, Shine, Stars, For Good, Here Today Gone Tomorrow

Track listing:

  1. Potts & Pans
  2. The Equestrian
  3. The Year Before The Year 2000
  4. Patty Lee
  5. What Would Wolves Do?
  6. Brace Yourself
  7. Raging In The Plague Act
  8. Slugs In The Shrubs
  9. Kiss Kiss Is Getting Old
  10. Comes & Goes
  11. Scotchgard The Credit Card
  12. The Lowest Bitter