Every few years, someone proclaims that rock ‘n’ roll is dead, beaten out by pop/EDM/rap/etc. Perhaps that’s true if you only listen to nostalgia-mining, all-male rock groups. The truth is, the rock scene is more vibrant and hard-hitting than ever. One such act keeping the mosh pit dream alive: Savages, the post-punk quartet whose 2011 debut album Silence Yourself had listeners head-banging, crowd-surfing, and screaming along. Now, Jehnny Beth, Gemma Thompson, Ayse Hassan, and Fay Milton have unleashed their new single and music video at once, and it’s a vertigo-inducing love letter to the physicality of punk shows. “The Answer,” a non-stop stampede/torch song, has Beth chanting, “If you don’t love me / Don’t love anybody,” as the drum and bass lines conspire together to propel the song relentlessly forward. It’s a lot of sound, but Beth’s voice rises above it, the lyrics delivered with both scorn and joy.
In a provided statement, the band shared: “We’ve observed our audience all around the world and noticed that something is happening. People want to be pushed to do good, or to be good, or just to feel good. We wanted a very intense video, that felt like banging your head against the wall, focusing on our audience: a portrait of our crowd, an homage to music lovers and the good people who are coming to gigs and shouting their lungs out, or just smiling at the back. We were touched by them every night, and wanted to get their message out there: loud guitar music is still alive and still connects people.” And oh, message received.
As several publications have noted, the music video seems like a tacit homage to the one for Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” That’s quite a reference if so; regardless, Savages more than holds their own. Watch the video for “The Answer” below:
Savages’ new album Adore Life drops on January 22, 2016.