21. Savages - Silence Yourself
Savages is a fairly new all-women band based in London. Luckily, the magic of the Internet and mass peer-to-peer diffusion has made them accessible to the masses. Their debut album hit me so hard it would be dishonest not to include it in my list. The album in question starts off with its synonym track, that builds up around a huge post-punk bass line; this gives a hint to what the rest of the album will sound like. It is mainly bass-dominated: the guitar often quiets down, leaving only the bass line to keep things rolling. Savages' sound is very noisy and unpolished. It takes back the spirit of the late 70's post-punk bands, namely Joy Division, with the mandatory minimalism, a creepy ambiance, dirty, heavily distorted guitars, primitive drum beats and deep reverberating vocals. Speaking of the vocals, their singer, originally from France, adopts a style that is easily reminiscent of Siouxsie (of Siouxsie and the Banshees, duh), but in a lower tone, excepts for some distant wails. Her lyrics are very direct and personal, yet vague and enigmatic; they're principally written to evoke ideas and feelings more than to tell stories. The titles she chose also reflect her lyrics and the band's songs very well: short, thought provoking and impactful.
Also, Savages is no ordinary post-punk revival band. The buzzing and droning guitars, the loud feedback and the general aggressive attitude make their music sound fresh and defiant, even if their main influences come from a few decades ago. The incredibly intense build-ups, often with repeated single words, that most of the times crash down instead of leading to a predictable riff also contribute in forging their unique sound. Another important point is that the album is not unidirectional: songs like the cacophonous whirlwind called "Hit Me", the ambient "Waiting for a Sign" and the bleak goth/cabaret piano-driven closer "Marshall Dear", with its final atonal saxophone solo, throw themselves into the melee, thus disturbing the (listener's mental) peace even more efficiently. If you haven't hopped on the hype train yet, you've got some catching up to do.