The new album from SAVAK, Beg Your Pardon, out on Friday via Ernest Jenning Record Co., is a blistering thing. A work of unbridled energy, the tunes here nevertheless reveal a tight focus, and expert musicianship.
The members here -- Sohrab Habibion (Edsel), Michael Jaworski (The Cops), James Canty (The Make-Up), and Matt Schulz (Lake Ruth) -- are consummate players. And to highlight just those bands from their resumes is to perhaps downplay their skills. Those skills are brought to bear here on energetic pieces, like opener "Dead Dick", a spry bit of business, and on "Nature Erased", a number that bears more than a trace of harDCore about it. Elsewhere, the lyrical "We Lead Them To Our Doors" imagines XTC as a post-punk band, the hooks here big ones, while the more supple "A Normal Speed" excellently blends a Talking Heads-like sense of rhythmic play with some downright punchy drums from Schulz. The choppy "Silhouettes" is a fine workout, while the driving "Bad Eyes" is a model of economic force. While these players function like a machine, there's still lots that's loose and organic here, as the heart at the center of many of these compositions is more than evident. Still, the cleverly-titled "Agronomy Domine" suggests a gentler, brainy path for SAVAK to pursue, while the elegantly-precise closer "They Are Not Like Us" sees SAVAK ride a bouncy, near-Polvo-esque hook to alt-pop success.
The music of SAVAK blends so many things that one could get kinda lost in the influences peeking through the seams here. Still, it's safe to say that the way SAVAK mixes these pieces is what's ultimately so interesting about SAVAK's music. Fans of bands as disparate as King Crimson, Girls Against Boys, and Television should find things here that please the ears.
Beg Your Pardon is out on Friday via Ernest Jenning Record Co.
[Photo: Reuben Radding]