Essential New Music: SAVAK’s “Best Of Luck In Future Endeavors”

savak

Expectations weren’t necessarily low for the inaugural effort from NYC’s SAVAK—after all, one of the group’s singer/songwriters is Sohrab Habibion of the late, great ’90s band Edsel (and, more recently, Obits)—but it seemed a bit of a stretch to assume Best Of Luck In Future Endeavors would instantly blow a listener away. Oops. Habibion, fellow tunesmith Michael Jaworski (Cops) and crew deliver 10 taut, jittery, post-punk nuggets—only a single tune lasts longer than four minutes—with soaring choruses and power-poppy hooks to offset the tension; in particular, “Alive In Shadows,” “Reaction” and “Elapsed Remaining” are catchier than an office-cubicle cold.

The LP’s title is more like a kiss-off than a heartfelt wish; a sense of lyrical unease permeates the proceedings, perhaps best exemplified by the anger-infused “Call It A Night”: “Reject your pretext/My reflex to your lame excuse.” With this outstanding opening salvo, the bar has been set for the second SAVAK record, already in process. Godspeed.

—Matt Hickey