I wasn’t all that sure about the latest Les Savy Fav album (their fifth) at first, to be honest, in spite of being quite a fan of their work over the years since falling hard for The Cat and the Cobra (1999). But that’s until I eventually got around to a proper listen to Root for Ruin the whole way through and was dumbstruck by the raw, tempestuous brilliance of “Clear Spirits”. Here is a very inspired choice to close the album with – a post-punk anthem that features each of the band members operating at their peak condition, driven by a stormy jet stream of Seth Jabour and Andrew Reuland’s dauntless guitars that threaten to swallow every shred of cynicism in its wake. And as ever, “Clear Spirits” is propped up by the wiry urgency of Tim Harrington’s expressive vocals, a mix of dark poignancy and unbridled enthusiasm that inhabits the erratic moods of someone darting in and out of painfully absurd life situations – hell yes, a phenomenal song fit for a reprobate’s résumé. – keith.
Root for Ruin is out now on Frenchkiss Records.