The Modern Savage
You can find good music anywhere. You’ll have a better chance of finding something new and exciting in an international city like New York or Los Angeles, but there are talented people everywhere. It’s also a whole lot easier to be discovered if you’re somewhere with a lot of other happening musicians. Hailing from Anchorage, Alaska, the Modern Savage are at a bit of a geographical disadvantage. It’s not like they can load up the van hit a few major cities on the weekend.
Unwilling Participants is the Modern Savage’s second release. They got James Frazee, a Brooklinite who’s worked with Beck, Patti Smith and Esperanza Spalding to record and produce the disc, so has a clean, crisp sound. The music harkens back to the inventive end of the ’80s “New Wave” spectrum. I hear quite a bit of early Siouxie and the Banshees in “Neon Tongue”. Likewise, reverberations of Pat Benetar bounce around the rocker, “Dead Presidents”. Jenni May Toro swaggers a bit like Poly Styrene and the X Ray Spex on “Girl From Nowhere”.
Name dropping perceived influences only takes us so far. So they have a cool record collection, are they any good? I’d say they have the songs to back up the boast. My go to song on Unwilling Participants is a bass driven break up song called “No Love Lost”. The lyric about keeping to yourself and seeking potentially unhealthy distractions speaks to me. The scratchy guitar fills bring to mind the concise accents of ska band. Here’s hoping the Modern Savage get a chance to get out of the Great Land (aka Alaska) and share their music with the rest of us.