Album review: Barrence Whitfield & The Savages - Under A Savage Sky

Barrence Whitfield

Barrence Whitfield - Credit: Archant

Down’n’dirty, tough-talkin’ and soulful blues/rock’n’roll mash-up

Returning to the fray in 2010 after an extended leave of absence from their ‘80s heyday, Whitfield and band have reclaimed their territory in typically uncompromising style.

For those unfamiliar, Whitfield’s growl and whiskey-soaked low rasp is a key ingredient in the Savages’ turbo-charged sound mixing blues, bruising soul, ‘60s garage rock and a shot of Little Richard’a electric rock’n’roll.

This follow-up to 2013’s Dig Thy Savage Soul finds them in fine fettle, still spitting out lascivious grooves and gravelly vocals.

Whether it’s waking up drunk with “someone else’s baby on my mind” (the sultry electric blues of Adjunct Street) or Angry Hands’ taunted protagonist, the sounds and subjects are full-bodied and hot-blooded.

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The album barely takes a breath as it roils in a gloriously grimy soup- choice cuts include Bad News Perfume’s pumped-up rock’n’roll and The Wolf Pack’s strutting blues, a Kid Thomas cover in which Whitfield howls dementedly over boisterous brass and drumstick snaps.

As you’d expect from song titles like Incarceration Casserole and Rock’n’Roll Baby, it’s sweaty, consummately-executed fun with oodles of pep and spittle in the finest tradition of bands from The Sonics to the Jim Jones Revue. Exhilarating stuff.

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Rating: 4/5

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