Savages, a no-boy band? - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #169

(EDITED: 17th May 2013 01:00GMT)
It comes as no surprise that the Savages postpunk album is really something special. Everyone and their dog, and their dog’s favourite rock snob has said so by now. I’m late to this particular party. Their particular brand of stripped-down punk, by turns primal and ethereal, but always captivatingly esoteric is just the sort of thing we need to document the world’s slow slide into the theatre of the unwell. Of course everyone has said it’s real good, real real good. You should go out and listen to it. But something you can’t have failed to notice, in addition to the album’s stellar quality was who played on it. Yes, girls, ladybeings, females, the better sex, oestrogen rather than testosterone was in effect here. This is a Y chromosome free zone people, take fucking note. Because, gee, shucks, some of them actually slipped through the sexist net of the music 'industry', what a novelty. And, phew, she's pretty good... for a girl.

Why? Why the holy fuck do I care whether the extremely talented ner-do-wells at the business end of guitar strings and drum skins are equipped with hanging appendages or not? It isn’t universally mentioned in all reviews if every member of a band once lived on the second floor of a block of flats, or holds left wing political opinions, or has given blood? Reviews and interviews never mention the colour of all the members hair or whether their parents are still alive, so why is being of the female persuasion such an oddity or rareness that it deserves particular mention? Is it surprising that someone female has the talent to play an instrument? Or scraped together the necessary wherewithal to form a band or released a record? Or crawled through the mud and barbed wire of the record industry without too many scratches?

Gemma Thompson, gee-tar.
The only reasons for making explicit reference to the all-girl status of Savages or any all-female band is that being a band composed of females, or including even one female (which is also often noted) is because it’s notable in itself. It’s notable because consciously or unconsciously music is a deeply sexist industry, rock and roll more than other sectors of the music world. It’s notable for one of two reasons, either “she’s pretty good… for a girl” or “wow, one slipped through the sexist net, damn”.

Jehenny Beth - vox
I don’t want to sound like a barking “the Guardian isn’t what it used to be!” sandal-toed feminazi protester, but it seems the only way to get through to you people. There’s nothing objectively wrong with mentioning that all the members of Savages are ladygirls because, hey, it’s factual. But if consciously or unconsciously you’re saying it as a thinly veiled version of “gee golly, she’s pretty good for a girl” then you can just about fuck off. I think the reason for the impressive sound they generate throughout their record is their feminine bent. They aren’t great in spite of being women, but because of it. Women are empathic, more aware of delicacy and frailness, superbly brave on a daily basis, and capable of truly stunning natural feats, such as creating another person. Men are big heavy meat slabs needed to pound seven shades of shite out of each other with a bone club, and lift things until such time in human history as forklifts could be invented; at which point us penis owners became pretty irrelevant. Also this blog is entirely generated by male output, so if you needed any concrete reasons why all male members of our faltering so called ‘species’ should be rounded up and coldly shot in the back of the head, keep scrolling down. Being a woman has absolutely sod-all with being a good musician. Girls Aloud were an all-female band and if they came on the radio I couldn’t kick it into no-working order quick enough; but Deap Vally rule. Similarly Led Zeppelin are an all-boy band and are superb, but you just have to tune into an indie station for a compelling argument for why men shouldn’t be allowed to make music ever. Demand more than sexist vitriol from music writing, go buy Savages album. ‘Girl band’ is not a genre. From here on out I’m adopting a new policy, I will refer to one-gender bands as such. All-girl bands and all-boy bands. Because that is equally demeaning to all parties involved. I’ll no doubt forget about it so please call me out. Cheers.

Written under duress by Steven.

Post script: It seems my vitriolic disabuse of notions didn’t really have a beginning or an end, or any kind of middle. I’ll just call out shit I see instead of making any worthwhile comments on it ya? Sounds a plan amigo.

EDIT: Post post script: I've had a few people saying I can't be a feminist because I'm not a woman. You ignorant little bastards. I wish I could stand you all in a line and run through you carrying a piece of razorwire. Because I can't do that please punch yourself in the genitals until you lose consciousness. Thankyou, goodbye.

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