Album Reviews

Barrence Whitfield & the Savages

Under the Savage Sky

Artist:     Barrence Whitfield & the Savages

Album:     Under the Savage Sky

Label:     Bloodshot

Release Date:     08/21/2015


Barrence Whitfield has been at this garage R&B game for a hard 30 years now. But even though he’s survived three decades of massive sea changes in the music world, never did it deter his ability to bash out noisy, vintage soul rock with maximum impact – especially with former members of the influential modern garage group, Lyres, in tow as The Savages. And now on their third album since reforming in 2011, Whitfield, guitarist Peter Greenberg, bassist Phil Lenker, drummer Andy Jody and saxophonist Tom Quartulli pick up where they left off on such Reagan-era Rounder barnburners as Dig Yourself and Call of the Wild, with their second Bloodshot Records release, Under the Savage Sky.

Whitfield just turned 60, but this cat can still bring the pain as viscerally as any young punk on the block as can be attested from such workouts as “The Claw,” “Angry Hands” and “Katie Didn’t.” Meanwhile, Greenberg – a staple of the Boston garage punk scene since the mid-70s as a member of the first wave band DMZ – remains one of the most underrated guitarists alive today, but continues to chop fools heads off left and right regardless as he does so excellently on Savage Sky.

If you are a fan of the real raw shit, the kind that Detroit tried to bring back in the late 90s/early 00s but couldn’t quite achieve outside of The Dirtbombs, cop this new Barrence shit quick.

-Ron Hart

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