As Savant prepare to unleash their math-rock madness at Blue Whale Studios under the watchful eyes and er, ears of Dom James, we asked them to put together a mix of tunes together to help us get an idea of what’s in their head and also for your listening pleasure! Enjoy x
‘Fast Canoe’ by Polvo
After having the latest album for a while and enjoying it I decided to check the old ones out. Man, this is the first track of ‘Exploding Drawing’. It’s sort of math with a post rock feel but the melodies and drums fit perfectly. It feels like Slint but poppier and heavier. It works man. Its like bacon on pancakes with syrup which I only tried recently on tour with Green Day in America (I did go to America, but not with Green Day, infact i hate them) and it was so good!
‘I Never Liked You’ by Don Caballero
Don Caballero! One of the finest bands ever. I’ve seen a lot of bands around Myspace who have these as there influences. They brought a new type on math rock to the scene and added the loops too. Drums are a big part in Don Caballero and in Savant they are too. We like the guitar to correspond with each other melody wise to create abstract melodies with a heavy at some times improvised drum sound with the bass keeping the sound full. If I was too say a band that influenced my playing and certainly Savants playing now it would be these. I have no idea what Liam, Ed or George think we sound like but I hope there gonna like my comparison.
‘Breadcrum Trail’ by Slint
Ahhhhhhhh Slint. Ohhhhhh Slint. Spiderland is like one of my all time favorites. The pioneers of modern post-rock!! The lyrics are so daunting and scarily hide behind the songs raw and powerful sound. Every fan of modern math / post / noise should listen to this album. One of Touch and Go’s finest records! Its scarily beautiful and really allows you to explore the guitar to find things that you don’t realize at first but come together and sound grand. Plus its about palm readers, which you may think isn’t interesting but surprisingly when its screamed its awesome.
Plus listen to –
‘Airplanes’ by Local Natives
When I first heard the relatively new album from Local Natives, I didn’t really think it was anything special. I mean, yeah it was quite a nice thing to listen to, but I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed. Well, now I’ve changed my mind. I could choose any of the first three tracks and I would be certain I’d chosen a good song. Not only do I like the guys moustache, but their songs always seem so well structured. They’re just great.
Airplanes starts off with them making stupid noises, but when you’re past that this song is perfect (although I quite like the noises). I think it’s probably everything I like about music piled together in this song (especially the strings) and I think I’ve played it every day since I got the album. Always nice to hear “I want you back” as well. It kinds of makes me wish my band wasn’t so hectic. I want to make music like this.
‘Go Long’ by Joanna Newsom
I’m not ashamed that I love Joanna Newsom. I’m obsessed with her right now, something which is only coincidentally timed with the release of her new album. Maybe.
It’s two hours long I think, so it is hard to listen to in one go. But really my life is kind of substandard outside music so I ploughed through it. And ‘Go Long’ has only recently become my favourite song. I don’t think the rest of the band will be very happy with my choices, they’re not exactly in keeping with whatever genre we’re at right now. Plus this song is more embarrassing because of what it’s about.
Can I describe something as beautiful without anyone taking the piss? Probably not but I can try.
‘Shaking Hand’ by Women
I just rediscovered this song and I’m glad I did. It’s such a good song, and I appreciate the time signature (not that I can follow it or know what it is). The guitars and the bass seem to go together perfectly, and the drums just keep clacking away. Either this or ‘Lawncare’ are my favourite songs by Women. I think that last minute or so of ‘Shaking Hand’ just wins it for me, everything just fits.
This is kind of a token song, my favourite song at the moment is actually by the best grime MC around Trim (Trimothy, Trimbal) called ‘Old School Bars’. Either that or a twenty minute piece of music by Moonface called ‘Marimbas and Shit Drum’s. It’s kind of like Steve Reich with alternative music in mind. Still, this song’s sick.
‘1-800-Ghost-Dance’ by Hella
So when I first listened to Hella, my thoughts were mixed and I didn’t know whether to like it or not. The craziness and overall strangeness of this music overwhelmed me, but it came to grow on me; now Hella are now one of my favorite bands. Hella have produced many albums over the years they’ve been active, but having the addition of vocals, rhythm guitar, synth and bass really cut the cord for me. Their first album Hold Your Horse Is is pure glory, I love the way it’s so simple, yet full of the most energetic and exciting ways to produce music. Hold Your Horse Is is indeed, my favorite from Hella and ‘ 1-800-Ghost-Dance’ is top of my list, I really enjoy the way Zach Hill and Spencer Siem, seem to just fit together perfectly with the twangly guitar and probably the craziest, hectic and manic drums going.
‘Every Place is a House’ by Maps & Atlases
I’m really into Maps & Atlases. It’s kind of like, how should I put it, a more ‘full’ Hella, but hitting those major notes. They create their own distinctive sound with Dave Davison’s vocal work, a strange, rounded type of singing and hit the high-frequiencies with the bass, still bouncing around their songs. One thing I notice (and hard not to!) when listening to Trees, Swallows, Houses, is the transition between the slowly paced, relaxing ‘The Ongoing Horrible’ and quickly changing to frighten the living daylights out of you with ‘Every Place is a House’. I’m still loving the guitar tapping from both guitarists and little breaks here and there, with constant crashing of the cymbals. To cut it short – if your a fan of Hella, then you’ll most definitely like Maps & Atlases.
‘It’s Not True Rufus, Don’t Listen To The Hat’ by This Town Needs Guns
Veering from the Hella and Maps & Atlases genre (whatever it is, I don’t know), This Town Needs Guns are more of the ’emo’ genre (American Football, Cap’N Jazz, Owls etc) and really have changed from their split CD with Cats and Cats and Cats to Animals, which is more jolly and dancy. None the less, I’m still equally drawn to the singles and split CD, as it is a whole different This Town Needs Guns. Probably best known for ’26 Is Dancier Than 4′ (from the split CD), it’s fairly similar to It’s Not True Rufus, Don’t Listen To The Hat, but, to my despair, they don’t play most of their earlier stuff live. I’m a real big fan of twiddly, twangly guitars and pretty mad drums, so It’s Not True Rufus, Don’t Listen To The Hat pretty much sums me up, it has all the aspects I enjoy out of a good song, but most of all it’s crafted well. Very well. I’m digging the way Chris Collis seamlessly changes his beat from a ‘follow the snare, if you can’ beat to a pretty straight forward standard beat, it gives the song a ‘wow’.
‘We Want War’ by These New Puritans
Their gig at the Hare & Hounds was too cool. Drowned in smoke it was a indie Sunn O))) show. Hidden is just revolutionary in my eyes in how indie can be made. Mixing minimalistic, classical and fresh indie beats just create the perfect mix. At the start it sounds like Swords of Truth but the whole depth of the song is just so much more mature than that but equally superb. I just recommend this album to any up and coming band just so they can realize experimenting works and will get you noticed. We experiment and it seems to pay off.