Les Savy Fav – ‘Oui, LSF’ album review: operatic punk that’s too long

Posted On
Posted By admin

Les Savy Fav – ‘Oui, LSF’

THE SKINNY: There are no prizes for having exceptional opening tracks, but if there were, Les Savy Fav would take one home. The moment ‘Guzzle Blood’ plays, it feels as though you are strapped in for a different kind of rock album. The way a police siren is looped and then accompanied by guitar, drums and vocals gives an undeniable punk sound but is achieved in an exciting and innovative way. Les Savy Fav shows they’re not playing around from the word go; however, while the rest of the album is a lot of fun, it doesn’t live up to the standard set by the opener.

Oui, LSF is an excellent album; there is no getting away from it. It’s packed full of energy, the instrumentation is excellent, and if people want an upbeat punk album, then they don’t have to look any further than it. The issue comes with the length of the album and the fact that there isn’t over-diversification throughout to justify it. What feels like a welcome sound at the beginning grows tired and played out towards the end as songs merge into one and the sound becomes repetitive.

That’s not to say the whole album follows that route. As mentioned, ‘Guzzle Blood’ uses the sound of sirens to separate itself, while ‘Racing Bees’ and ‘Don’t Mind Me’ are much more serene and tranquil in their delivery. Additionally, ‘Nihilists’ invokes feelings of country music, steering away slightly from the punk feel of the rest of the album.

While those deviations are welcome, they’re too few and far between to impact the overall reception of this record, which, unfortunately, comes across as slightly drawn out and haphazard. It’s a great one to dip in and out of, but it won’t serve as a complete listen because there simply isn’t enough to keep a listener engaged for its elongated runtime. 

For fans of: Fast-paced punk, lots of it, like, absolutely loads of it.

A concluding comment from John, who has been trapped in a time loop for 50 years: “Perfect runtime for me.” 

Oui, LSF track by track

Release Date: May 10th | Label: Frenchkiss / The Orchard

‘Guzzle Blood’: The album starts with sirens and plunges deep into the depths of a heavy droning guitar with mimicking vocals. It’s packed with attitude from the word go, and you’re told immediately to strap in for a slog of rock. [4/5]

‘Limo Scene’: Upbeat drums and teasing synth, funky bass and persistent rhythm; this song was made for dancing. It remains pretty steady throughout, but given the intense nature of the opener, having a song that remains upbeat but gives us some breathing space is welcome. [3/5]

‘Void Moon’: The star of the show in this song is the vocals. The melody adopted throughout the track pierces upbeat instrumentals and dominates. It’s a lot of fun to listen to and is very much in line with its predecessors. [3.5/5]

‘Mischief Night’: A haunting song with a tone that seems to mimic the title as it provides the perfect background music for graffiti and garden hopping montages. A scattered and heavy guitar with trickling minor notes blending in the background spells out mist-filled evenings littered with wrongdoing. [4/5]

‘What We Don’t Don’t Want’: Evocative of early American punk with an acapella opening opens the song, which is unrelenting in energy but relatively stripped back in terms of instrumentation. [3/5]

‘Legendary Tippers’: Music-wise, this isn’t too far removed from the rest of the album; the song is upbeat, gets your head nodding and is undoubtedly heavy. That being said, the vocal melody is a real surprise, which ushers in a more dynamic performance, shy and whiny in its delivery but complementary to the track. [3/5]

‘Dawn Patrol’: A wobbly and uneven guitar takes us through this spoken word piece. Certainly one of the most dreamlike on the album, a trippy two minutes easing us into the halfway point. [3.5]

‘Somebody Need a Hug’: Back to the original formula, upbeat drums, plucking guitar, heavy sound and complementary vocals. It’s certainly not bad, but it doesn’t differentiate itself enough from the rest of the LP to stand out. [2.5/5]

‘Racing Bees’: An arpeggiated synth windchime-like effect is persistent throughout this instrumental track, which is a nice break from the upbeat punk. [3.5/5]

‘Don’t Mind Me’: A lovely change of pace. The song is slow, with root notes of chords played on keys and vocal exploration present throughout. This is a slow ballad in every sense of the word, with vulnerability on display with every syllable and a melancholic backdrop throughout. “You used to love me, now you just don’t mind me” is a lyrical standout for the album. [4/5]

‘Oi! Division’: Back to the upbeat stuff, but it’s much more welcome this time following the brief break from our regular scheduled programming. This is proper punk, reminiscent of the 1970s, with the track’s tuned-down vocals and overall attitude. [3.5/5]

‘Barbs’: Despite the album being good overall, the songs are becoming quite hard to differentiate from one another. The “Dreaming” chorus and guitar solos are a lot of fun but nothing we haven’t heard before. [2.5/5]

‘Nihilists’: As we approach the end of the record, the band take a massive U-turn and create a sound like a hopeless country song. With a downbeat guitar but an upbeat rhythm, this song is comparable to a celebration for the end of days. [4/5]

‘World Got Great’: Pitched harmonics and feedback are inescapable at the beginning of this track. Like the album, the song is unrelenting from start to finish, a great piece to end on and take a deep breath from what has been a real head-pounding record. [3/5]

[embedded content]

Related Topics

Related Post