Savage Furs - Savage Furs - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Savage Furs - Savage Furs

by Clare Stemp Rating:5 Release Date:2011-03-21

It's the 80s! It really is! Except it's not. But it IS many 80s-sounding genres densely packed into one EP. So you can understand the confusion. Instead it is the debut 12in EP from London trio Savage Furs, and it's all about industrial electro and artsy aesthetics. Well, artsy, but swallowing a dose of Tolkien along the way, with song titles like the opening 'Thrones of Young Ice' and 'Asphalt Sorcery'. What? What does this mean? Young Ice? Sorcery…from asphalt? This crazy youth.

So, the 80s, then. Think Duran Duran sexing Depeche Mode and spawning Japan. It looks like Savage Furs are doomed to hear these types of comparisons constantly. This is probably a shame, as at times there are more contemporary variations, like the (very) occasional grimy bassline chucked in for a slight twist on the classic sounds of decadence. It's not really enough to make it unique or interesting though, and while it's great to be thrown back to 80s filth once in a while, it's hard to believe that so thoroughly recycling the ones who came first could be a positive move.

In a dull and linear style, this is what happens on the EP: 'Thrones of Young Ice' introduces itself with some saucy sax. Bring on the Nescafé! 80s Nescafé. The production is good, nicely polished, with some impressive vocals, and the track is danceable. Whether 'Sick Lamborghini' is meant to be about an ill car, or a fantastic and healthy car, is not clear. Apparently it's "so sick it's alive", which confuses the issue further. Everything about the track is more Duran than Duran, it's even like them in their 90s or 00s work, perhaps more so.

'Mohair Metal' takes you off on a slight tangent, swaying towards some dirty guitar work and revving synths, a little more industrial than its predecessors. 'Asphalt Sorcery', despite the ridiculous title, is the stand-out track, with the catchiest melody, bloopy electro-beats and vocals that Sylvian himself would cream over. And the excursion away from this decade is concluded with the "club mix" of the song about the brilliant or ailing car, which isn't all that different to the original, save more modern bass-synth sounds and a darker, abrasive air. Certainly a club mix - for an 80s goth club in Berlin.

In a nutshell, the 80s, all at once, right now. Which is neither terrible nor amazing. Just underwhelming, overfamiliar and sometimes…okay. It's all okay - it's just the 80s.

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Sound like they've been listening to a lot of Suede as well, judging by those titles.

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