Totally awesome godfathers of indie rock, Les Savy Fav are back with a super stellar 5th album, Root for Ruin. If you’re new to the band here’s a bit of a rundown for you. They’ve been kickin’ it since 1995 but took a bit of a break then bam! came back strong with Let’s Stay Friends. Their live shows are full of crazy times due to lead singer/front man Tim Harrington’s free spirited freak outs on stage (often stripping off all his clothes). Bass player Syd Butler started up super stellar Frenchkiss Records so that the band could be in full control of their music.
On Root for Ruin, the band has tried some different stuff. They wanted to create an album that would sound great recorded but could hold up to their onstage antics as well (apparently Harrington recorded shirtless to get in the spirit of things). Their inspiration behind the album was to pay homage to their 90s indie roots and the scene from whence they came (even using a talk box to help create some added texture to their sound). Keeping with their 90s theme, drummer Harrison Haynes created the album’s cover art sans Photoshop for a great DIY artsy look.
I have to say that this album is pretty damn raad! As far as creating an album that will hold up to their legendary live performances, I’d say they’ve succeeded. The majority of the tracks have a great amped up energy using power guitar riffs and heavy cymbals, high speed drums. Harrington’s raw vocals really cut through the instrumentals and his energy carries through so well that you can pretty much feel him undressing and freaking out in the studio. Highlights off Root for Ruin include punk vibed “Appetites” and “Excess Energies”, ethereal post punk “Poltergeist”, noise inspired “Clear Spirits” and kickin’ rock tune “High and Unhinged”. You can also hear that 90s rock influence the band was trying to recreate on tracks “Lips N’ Stuff”, “Sleepless in Silverlake”, and “Dear Crutches” (which all kind of dragged on for me).
Les Savy Fav are a cool as fuck band that don’t disappoint on Root for Ruin. This is an all round great time and must listen for sure! Check them out live as soon as you get the chance.