Les Savy Fav
Frenchkiss/The Self-Starter Foundation
A couple years ago, after witnessing Les Savy Fav frontman Tim Harrington on the live front, I conceded that he’s not the greatest freak, but he’s pretty damn weird nonetheless. The same holds true for his bandmates in the Fav. Not the greatest freaks around currently, but definitely damn weird, essentially because Les Savy Fav create tunes that, for as catchy-as-the-clap infectious as they are, remain smart, witty, and above all fancy-free, all a safe distance from the otherwise smarmy dictates of erstwhile indie dorks. Okay, some dorkishness can be forgiven in the Fav’s case, the least of which being their ties to the Rhode Island School of Design (Talking Heads hailed from there, go figure), but the template provided on the preceding The Cat and the Cobra gets ironed out even more blissfully on their latest Go Forth long-player. Now down to a four-piece and minus a second guitarist, Les Savy Fav somehow sound fuller and more fleshed-out here, as six-stringer Seth Jabour fills out the funk with a sparser yet more resonating tone, reverbed to all hell, probably more chorus and even flange, his skewed but scintillating melodies bouncing all around the walls and (more so) your brain. And The Funk is certainly in attendance here, the beats being more danceable yet diverging, Go Forth more prevalently looking like a bastard cousin of Gang Of Four’s pop-terrorizing Songs of the Free instead of, say, At the Drive In, a charge erroneously leveled by many a quad-bifocalled indie-snob. If the Fav could take over the airwaves, perhaps the national IQ would be exponentially higher.
Frenchkiss, 111 E. 14th St., PMB 229, New York, NY 10003; Self-Starter Foundation, PO Box 1776, Horsham, PA 19044; http://www.southern.com