Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Under The Savage Sky
***and1/2 out of *****excellently lo-fi Dig Thy Savage Soul, the fellows are clearly reveling in their renaissance with more of the same grungy swagger that seeps straight out of mechanic's garage, doubling as a congregation hall on Sundays.
The meaty rock riffs on tracks like opener “Willow” and “Katy Didn’t” produces excessive head banging/hip shaking while the soul gets upped for the strutting cover of Timmy Willis “I’m A Full Grown Man”. “The Claw!” goes after a new dance crazy straight from ‘56 while that era’s sounds get revved into the red via swinging horns on the juke joint ready “Rock ‘N’ Roll Baby”.
Production is kept minimal as instruments struggle into and out of the ear adding to shambolic sound and wild abandon feel. While that chaos works wonders for the music, Whitfield's vocals during certain songs get buried; as an overall aesthetic it is expected but when they are highlighted, say on closer “Full Moon In The Daylight Sky”, even better results are found. Cleaning up just the vocals on the next release may make an even greater sonic impact.
As it stands though Under The Savage Sky is a hoot, whether listening to the clanging “Angry Hands” or the howling blues of “The Wolf Pack” the group's energy is palpable. From the jangly tambourine, plinking piano and swampy organs on “Adjunct Street” to the punky sweetness of “Bad News Perfume” the band and its listeners are in for a grimey good time.
Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some recent live video below: