Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Les Savy Fav with the Apes and Dirt Nap 

Monday, Dec. 3; Rocket Bar

Les Savy Fav (pictured) and the Apes are on a mission to reclaim art rock from the stuffy pretensions of turgid rock librettists and overambitious "conceptual rock" musicians. Like fellow one-time Gotham residents the Talking Heads, Les Savy Fav enrich their compositions with an offbeat sense of humor and an aesthetic somewhere between noir B-movie and '80s punk iconoclasm, hauntingly pitched and perfectly pointed. Labelmates the Apes are even more strident with their guitarless organ-led throb, as if some Stooges took Arthur Brown's "Fire" for a Black Sabbath song.Les Savy Fav began in 1995, while its members were studying art at the Rhode Island School of Design. "I went from postmodern protégé to postmodern passé and retched from the get-go," complains singer Tim Harrington on the title track from last year's EP Rome (Written Upside Down); this world-weary, end-of-the-empire tone informs nearly every song. Les Savy Fav's latest album, Go Forth, builds even stronger pop edifices around typically unusual topics, such as fondly remembered hostage incidents ("Adopduction") and hitchhiking on the autobahn ("Disco Drive").

With a different style but similar concerns, the Apes, a Washington, D.C.-based four-piece, meld garage rock's dank, organ-fed claustrophobia with a burbling '70s hard-rock low-end murk. Lead singer Paul Weil's primordial wail is matched live by his free-range kineticism; he paces the stage like a caged animal, underscoring the appropriateness of the band's name.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Latest in Critics' Picks

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2022 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation