Les Savy Fav Inches Review

Compilation. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

Inches? This compilation goes on for miles and miles. I hope you’ve got your running...

Jessica Braham 2008

The Brooklyn based art punk-rockers Tim Harrington (vocals), Seth Jabour (guitar), Syd Butler (bass) and Harrison Haynes (drums) collectively known as Les Savy Fav are back with their own kooky version of reality. It's a raucous revolution in the form of the re-release of Inches, a collection of 7'' singles released by the band before 2004.

The re-release seems like perfect timing after their latest album, Let's Stay Friends, got into the NME's top five for 'Album of the Year' in 2007. Yet fear of the dreaded words 'single' and 'compilation' in the same sentence are perfectly understandable. Are the band members about to kill each other/ have killed each other, and are breaking up? Or worse still, has some exec at the record label had a dry month in the office and needs to justify their wages? Thankfully this isn't the case with Inches. It's an altogether more valuable and coveted contribution to their back catalogue.

Many of the tracks included were originally only available in vinyl and released on different labels, including Monitor, Sub Pop, and Tiger Style, causing the calmest of fans to tear their hair out in desperation. Frenchkiss Records, co-founded by bassist Syd Butler, was set up for the precise reason of releasing LSF's own music allowing the label to scoop up all their estranged children - even the annoying teenagers - and bring them back home. This happy marriage of convenience has allowed fans both old and new to keep their hair and sleep easy at night. Now it's been handed to you on a plate.

Truly original, Inches is a showcase of the vibrancy and eclecticism of the band's forays, firmly entrenched in punk new wave. The first single on the compilation, Meet Me in the Dollar Bin blasts out cool electro-synth, heavy drum beats, and gut wrenching scrawny guitar. Hold on to Your Genre delivers lo-fi, moody bass, while Knowing How The World Works develops edgy guitars and fluttering drum beats. Reformat is given two versions, one live and one of a radio play where a submarine captain is executed. The inspired diversity runs throughout all eighteen tracks with an abundance of abstract, gritty, indie-rock with gravitas. Inches? This compilation goes on for miles and miles. I hope you’ve got your running shoes on.

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