The debut album from Bad Sav has been many years in the making. That’s not from apathy though. The musicians have all been busy with either Death and the Maiden (Hope Robertson and Lucinda King) or the Shifting Sands’ (Mike McLeod), among other musical projects.
Bad Sav have released a couple of singles over the years, Buy Something New and Labradoodle were both well-received slices of heavy guitar pop. It was, however, the more recently released Hens Teeth that best hinted at what the rest of their self-titled album may sound like.
The 10 tracks were recorded at Chicks Hotel by Tom Bell, mixed and mastered by Steven Marr, and the album released through growing Dunedin independent label Fishrider Records on vinyl, CD and digital. Sonically, the music and production feel like it may have been influenced by the likes of The Cure, Bardo Pond and Sonic Youth.
The walls of guitar and bass give the album a shoegaze feel. Pets, a highlight of the new tracks (and longest at 5m44s), starts with a lullaby melody but soon delivers the line, ‘I don’t give a fuck if you’re thinking about me.’ From there it twists and turns. Haunting backing vocals slowly peak through the sonic rain, as it shimmers into noise.
Overall, the rhythm section grooves through the wall of sound, weaving in and out of melody and noise. Tight percussion and bass, allows the guitar to let loose with stabs of feedback. The album pops and burns and sparks with carefree Dunedin abandon. The shared vocals and well-constructed instrumentation give this debut collection of dense garage a unique atmosphere. Buy it on vinyl and turn it up loud.