If I wasn’t stranded on an island at the time, I would have made every effort to get to Wrongbar to catch Les Savy Fav’s NXNE performance. Of course, being on dry land wouldn’t have increased the odds that much, as the venue was filled instantly. Presumeably, the lucky few who got in were treated to at least a few tracks from Root for Ruin, Les Savy Fav’s latest album. While 2007’s excellent Let’s Stay Friends featured guests spots for everyone from Fred Armisen to Emily Haines, Root for Ruin remains an in-house affair. This back to basics approach lets the band members’ individual talents shine through.
To the uninitiated, Tim Harrington would appear to be a strange, balding, and bearded fat man. To everyone else, he’s one of the more engaging and eccentric frontmen in modern rock. While there is a notable visual component to his madness, his enthusiasm shines through on record, particularly on album standout ‘High and Unhinged’. While songs about gods from a forgotten age are less common here, Root for Ruin continues to deal with aging and altered paradigms, as on ‘Excess Energies’. This world-weary attitude recurs throughout the album.
Root for Ruin rocks. It’s not quite as exuberant or forceful as Let’s Stay Friends was, but it shows that Les Savy Fav has a softer side to their typically hard-edged post-punk leanings, and that they still like to party, even when a little bummed out.
Tags: Les Savy Fav