To which small percentage of the culture industry I would have to be like: But rock music is an inherently derivative art form? So that would be like saying that Savages are making rock music? Which they are, and everyone already knows that?
Fuck rock critic pieties. Nostalgia-tinted mythologizing historicist sunglasses have obscured something really obvious in this case. If you listen to The Scream, Unknown Pleasures, and Silence Yourself, for most of us, choosing the superior album that stands out from these three shouldn’t be that hard. Savages sound as good or better than Siouxsie & The Banshees. Savages sound better than Joy Division. Citing Savages’ historical privilege (the fact that they are playing music after these bands in the chronology) will get you nowhere in my book.
If you like Son House’s version of Death Letter Blues better than the White Stripes version, that’s fine. But don’t tell me you like House’s better because it’s more “original” or “authentic.” Because his version is just a cannibalized hybrid of a Leadbelly song and another blues he played 30 years before (which blues–My Black Mama Pt. 2–was most likely cannibalized or outright plagiarized from some other source). Derivation and recombination is the whole nature of the game from the beginning.
This whole non-controversy provides us all with an excellent excuse to listen to the debut albums of all three bands–Scream by Siouxsie & The Banshees, Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division, and Silence Yourself by Savages–consecutively. See the mixtape at the top of this post for reference materials. After you do that, please do hit up me up on Facebook or Twitter and let me know which debut album is your favorite.
Refer to the playlist at the top of this post for reference materials if you haven’t already.
(PS. “Scream” is soooo much better than I even remember it being. I still don’t like it as much as I like “Silence Yourself.”)