Les Savy Fav : Let’s Stay Friends

<img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/lessavyfavletsstayfriends.jpg" alt=" " />Rhode Island School of Design’s own Les Savy Fav return from their hiatus with their first new full-length in six years, <i>Let’s Stay Friends</i>. ...
7.2 Frenchkiss

Les Savy Fav : Let's Stay FriendsRhode Island School of Design’s own Les Savy Fav return from their hiatus with their first new full-length in six years, Let’s Stay Friends. Since 2001’s Go Forth, the New York-based band has only released a singles compilation (2004’s Inches), and then went on hiatus the following year.  This all led fans to fear a break-up, but the foursome has come back with a record that fits in nicely with Go Forth, though Let’s Stay Friends doesn’t show as much growth as one might expect for such a long time in between.

With a first half that’s stronger than its second, Let’s Stay Friends starts off on a high note with “Pots and Pans”.  Haunting, expansive, and echoing, the moving “Pots” isn’t the first thing one might expect from Les Savy Fav, but welcome nonetheless.  In general, Friends is at its best when Les Savy stray away from their usual hard, crisp attack, like with “Pots”, or the fun and dance-y “Patty Lee”, the catchy New Wave “What Wolves Would Do”, the dark, gliding anthem, “Brace Yourself”, and the spooky alt-country “Comes and Goes”.  The finest latter-half track is the finisher, “The Lowest Bitter”, that displays interesting changes – including horns – while retaining its core.

However, when Les Savy Fav remain at their roots, what comes out is largely good, but not quite memorable.  Single “The Equestrian” veers a little too much towards the simplistic seventies punk, “Rage In the Plague Age” towards simplistic pop-punk, “Slugs In the Shrubs” towards simplistic press, and “Scotchguard the Credit Card” towards simplistic somber-rock.  Known for their impressive and exciting live shows, thanks to singer Tim Harrington’s stage antics (while the rest of the band barely bats an eye), such songs can be amazing in concert, but on record, they’re mostly just solid.

After all that time off from recording, Les Savy Fav hasn’t changed much at all, and for the legions of fans they’ve deservedly earned off of their live performances, that’s what’s most important.  On Let’s Stay Friends, the band doesn’t quite live up to their live reputation, but does show some moments of real growth.  More of that, and perhaps Les’ Friends would have equaled Les live.

Album Reviews
  • Anonymous
  • No Comment

    Leave a Reply