Record Review - 3 November 28 2001

A tautly coiled D.C.-influenced band formed at the Rhode Island School of Design, Les Savy Fav emerged from their embryonic stage to descend full-forth on Brooklyn's post-punk scene in 1997. With literary, jittering lyrical jabber and a stammering rhythm section passed down from Wire and Fugazi (but a spastic energy all their own), Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington, Seth Jabour, Syd Butler and Harrison Haynes quickly etched a place for themselves, releasing two full-lengths before losing original guitarist Gibb Slife.

On their third full-length, Go Forth, the follow-up to the rawer Emor: Rome Written Upside Down EP, Les Savy Fav use famed indie-rock producer Phil Ek's studio savvy to fill in for their departed guitar duelist. Chorus, keyboards, reverb and overdubs cushion the guitar lines, which are still angular but less abrasive. An edgy pop sense in songs like "Tragic Monsters" and "Bloom on Demand" hints at '80s new-wave influences from the Cure to Big Country. Songs like "Crawling Can Be Beautiful" and "The Slip" betray that, like contemporaries the Rapture, Les Savy Fav have found their groove, releasing nervous energy over limber bass lines that remain heavy without feeling weighed down.

Whirling like the Holy Rollers of intelligent post-hardcore, Les Savy Fav mix disco, dirge and diatribes, slanted riffs and stop-start rhythms. Go Forth is a friendlier, well-formed release for a band looking back while going forward.

Les Savy Fav plays Wed., Dec. 5, at The Earl.??