Les Savy Fav: Root For Ruin

Les Savy Fav: Root For Ruin

B

Les Savy Fav

Album: Root For Ruin
Label: Frenchkiss

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Led by a fearlessly weird, antic bear of a man who’s funnier than most stand-ups, and driven by slippery guitar lines that never devolve into basic riffage, Les Savy Fav is better at rocking on its own terms than just about any other band. By those high standards, it’s jarring to hear a straightforward song like Root For Ruin’s “Let’s Get Out Of Here”: With its cooing harmonies and generic “I just want you to want me” sentiments, it would be a feather in any other band’s cap, a guaranteed Gossip Girl-montage-backing hit. But in Les Savy Fav’s case, it will likely leave diehards waiting for an apeshit tonal shift or sarcastic turn of phrase that never arrives, much like the “those crazy kids in L.A.” party anthem “Sleepless In Silverlake,” or worse, the drippy “Dear Crutches,” which actually contains the line “Love, won’t you stay awhile and stoke the embers of my soul?” Are those three snoozers—or the fact that the hooky, frenetic “Lips ’N Stuff” boasts the embarrassing refrain “Let’s be friends with benefits”—enough to sink the album? Not with ode-to-abandon ragers “Appetites” and “Excess Energies” kicking out the artful jams, or the menacing Suicide thrum of “Poltergeist” and the barely controlled guitar squalls of the creepy/uplifting closer “Clear Spirits,” which ranks among the band’s best ever. Besides, as anyone who’s seen its sweaty, exhausting live show knows, Les Savy Fav can always use more “get a beer” songs.

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