Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Sep 1st, 2015

Barrence Whitfield & the Savages: Under the Savage Sky

barrenceBarrence Whitfield & the Savages
Under the Savage Sky
(Bloodshot Records)

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With the barrel-house blues vocals of Barrence Whitfield fronting The Savages, the guitarist/architect of the band, Peter Greenberg explains they were all eager for a “harder and garagier” tone for this new record; Under the Savage Sky delivers that eagerness. A flangy, whacka-whack guitar sets the stage on opener “Willow” while “I’m A Full Grown Man” is filled with wild blues screaming and Greenberg’s distorted lines with Tom Quartulli’s saxophone blaring the bed into the background. “The Claw,” as much a hit single as I have ever heard, is all upfront guitar, sax burbing and again Whitfield’s spot-on vocal attack. There’s lots of guitar noodling on the 50’s send-up “Rock and Roll Baby,” while drummer Andy Jody rolls us into a pro-punk “Bad News Perfume,” again with Quartulli making his presence known (I really do like how he and Greenberg mix and match here). A cover of Kid Thomas’ “The Wolf Pack,” one of the best tunes here, has sax and guitars lying heavy in the melody line while “Full Moon In the Daylight Sky” ends, a roiling blues sax full-throttle rhythm strut blues. One shouldn’t forget the contribution by Phil “Mr. Tenacious” Lenker’s bass here. He is understated, picking his spots where he need be and creates the soft bed the Savages jump off from. Under the Savage Sky is solid, good noise making.

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Barrence Whitfield & the Savages: Under the Savage Sky