Les Savy Fav, Go Forth

Yancey Strickler

By Yancey Strickler

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

There are two schools of Les Savy Fav fans: those who crush on singer Tim Harrington's charismatic flourishes and distinctive lyrics equally narrative and surreal, and those crushed off after seeing Harrington's pale, naked torso after yet another Jim Morrison imitation at one of the band's concerts. Les Savy Fav's music takes decidedly different forms in the studio and on stage: on their albums, the manic new-wave tracks never quite congeal, yet live, these songs burst with energy as the Brooklyn-via-Rhode Island quartet erupts while the crowd, titillated, ducks for cover.

Instead, Les Savy Fav's albums belong to their ballads, and Go Forth features the sultriest of the slow stuff. "One to Three" sways softly to Seth Jabber's teetering guitar line and drummer Gibb Slife's slowed disco thwaps. Reminiscent of early Built to Spill, its delicacy is nerve-wracking — like watching Of Mice and Men's Lenny handling your newborn. "Adopduction" tells the story of a kidnapped man whose family low-balls the ransom offer, and who subsequently falls in love with his kidnappers, only to have his affection go unrequited. The epic story gets an appropriately epic arrangement, with peaks, valleys and soaring "ooohs" that, in concert, the indie girls in the audience enthusiastically mimic, as if Les Savy Fav themselves had saved them from an appearance on the back of a milk carton.