Label: Wichita Release date: 13/09/10 Link: Website Buy/Stream: Amazon/Spotify Les Savy Fav, favourites of all intelligent math rock aficionados, have always made post rock and math rock into something more than most others can make it. By combining the regular feel of complex riffs and patterns with a punk (or Gang of Four-esque post punk in some occasion) ethic, they reach a level that is shared by very few. This was all well established by their first album, and enhanced by the fantastic ‘Inches’, a compilation of their singles from birth in 1995 to 2004. And it still sounds as fresh and relevant today as it did all those 15 years ago. And while Root For Ruin carries on the best of those ethics, it also carries a lot of extra baggage. For me, they’re at their best when they carry on the spirit of Gang of Four, Magazine, and the likes, for example, in ‘Poltergeist’ or ‘Appetites’. Especially with the krautrock feel of the former, they reach a level and a style that is unmatched by any current band – it’s got the punk and noise ethic of Factory Floor, but without the need for the electronics and with a feel of real band authenticity. Where this album falls down is when they go for the more post hardcore sounds of ‘Let’s Get Out Of Here’, a song that sounds corny and more American; it’s a song that moves from their quite British influences in the post punk and punk scene and finds them in more of the American punk scene, which isn’t a good thing. That being said, the album still works, it still clicks and has the same poetic level of lyrics from Tim Harrington, the same pulsing drums from Harrison Haynes, the same soaring and majestic, yet dirty and honest guitar work and the same altogether honest feel to it all. It still retains the anger and the poetry within it that it’s always had, and simply moves on step by step. Not all of the songs are perfect, I don’t think any are, but that is what makes Les Savy Fav great. It’s the way that everything is urgent and not crystal and pristine that makes them so appealing. It’s like pushing punk to the next level, having people play it that really fucking know their way around their instrument and a song. It’s adroit punk. While the songs are not perfect, and there are cheesy parts (‘Let’s Get Out Of Here’) to every piece of poetry (‘Calm Down’), it’s still a good album. It’s nothing that will go down in history, but that, by no means makes it a bad album. I hope to see the best of them in Inches 2. Photobucket