Artist: Savage Sound System
Title: Liars And Thieves Will Have It All
Label: Savage Recordings
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
I personally refuse to believe any longer that “words cannot do justice…” — words will do justice, if bent properly to the use. To grab an ‘L’, apply such force that it becomes an ‘I’, at least after two handles are soldered onto, and maybe then the meaning will clear as if out of a fog. Maybe, though, it is not so easy…
… I struggled, or L, to find the words to justify this work from an artist much beloved for me, the Savage Sound System, but the words would not arrive. Painfully, an awareness settled that my continued silence may harm, as silence will kill more readily than arms in the arts. I struggled yet more to make the words come, but still…
… such it has been with many great works of music thrust into my lap over the past year…
… now, decidedly, I’ve come to a place where silence must be vanquished and praise lavished lasciviously, and I hope you can excuse whatever ridiculous form these words shall take. It is my labor to make the words a fire-brand of justice for a work deserving of some words, any words, of love. The SSS was a group I released music from during my first foray into running a netlabel (Noise-Joy) and this was brought to my attention by one of the artists involved after reading my review of that older work.
As I listen, first, to the piece that forms the introduction to this album (‘A Lust For Cash And Tragedy’)… a computerized voice from an era long passed toys with my brain. It seems glitchy. A groove enters, deep growling bass “Rip”. Various electronic pulses are dancing in my head. It sounds like there is a guitar stuttering in the mix.
Then we enter ‘The Industrial Zone’, a zone I know well, a zone I’ve dwelt in for long times. Bits of bass, hop hop rhymes, crisp rhythm breaks. It’s pretty weird.
‘Truth Has A Higher Value’ sounds nice and chill for a bit, very abstract, with kind of chopped rhythmic sections and harmonic distortion swelling in the back every now and then, vocal pads, bell tones. There’s a formant vocal squelch like acid thing happening.
‘Brand New’ feels like slow-motion acid breaks with ridiculous vocal parts, synth strings… I like the sampled vocal parts.
Next is a strange soup of sounds called ‘D.Soul’s Pet Bear’, and here I’m getting a weird feel for the album that it’s almost like they were creating something like late ’90s alt Britpop/rock ran through a millennial experimental electronica filter or something, but coming out wrong like a cat buried in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.
‘Shitty Rain, Shitty Rain’ has a beginning of feedback, subdued and very resonant, but not shrill, more hollow. Some low end saw bass, click-pop bass drum tones, echoes of noises flying past. Textures. The groove develops a little more and becomes enjoyable, like very abstract and cold micro trip-hop.
Last track to come on is ‘We Can’t Have Our Scene To Ourselves’ with more of the name-dropping shenanigans, but enjoyable for containing the trappings of bass music with MC’ing, sampled vox, rap, stuff like that, but very bizarre. “We make it up as we go”.
What I ask myself throughout, is, “was this an attempt at subversion?” I don’t know.
And there you have it. Words… words… and a link: