Single: The Magic Eye
Released: May 16 2011 on Alaska Sounds
Listen: The Savage Nomads' Myspace.

The Savage Nomads - formed in the late 1960s - were, are and continue to be one of the most notorious street gangs ever to come out of The Bronx, New York. The Savage Nomads - the band - on the other hand are four terrifyingly talented teenagers from London. These two disparate groups not only share a name but also an unquestioningly committed inclusive ethic. The Bronx-based Nomads were notable for their refusal to be bound by racial barriers whilst their youthful UK namesakes refuse to discriminate between influences; blending genres without blinking, fusing wildly varied vocal styles and literary influences with a true punk ethic that owes more to the spirit of ’76 than any so-called “punk” of the last twenty years whilst effortlessly combining the originality and freedoms of hip-hop, poetry and electronica.

For a band so young, The Savage Nomads have been making all the right kind of noises in the short time they’ve been together. Boasting more youthful exuberance, hope and naivety than almost seems bearable, The Savage Nomads have already been hailed as saviors of contemporary music by many in a position to know. Mick Jones of The Clash, luminary DJ Don Letts and Gavin Martin at The Daily Mirror have all vocally offered their support and the band have garnered fiercely supportive reviews in Music Week, The Independent and Mojo as well as a rapidly-building online buzz. The afformentioned Mick Jones even had the band play some of their first ever shows, when they were only mid way through their teens, at his Carbon Casino events in London. This fruitful and supportive relationship has continued – and the band will be taking much bigger stages supporting Big Audio Dynamite in April.

“We’ve always been interested in… everything” says singer/guitarist Cole Salewicz and The Savage Nomads’ debut single, The Magic Eye, (mixed by Mike Crossley – Foals, Arctic Monkeys etc.) - taken from forthcoming album Coloured Clutter - defiantly bears out that statement. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the single is the band’s refusal to bow to current trends or cynical radio-aimed “verse/chorus” songwriting, relying instead on their own instinctive, modernist song structures, production and form. Crawdaddy scribe Emma Dennis notes the “surprising juxtaposition of language and style” that makes The Savage Nomads so stunningly compelling. This isn’t a two minute disposable pop song. This is confrontationally intelligent contemporary music played by teenagers with a wealth of ideas pouring out of their mouths and fingers. Progressive, incisive math combines with art-punk, dub and garage rock to create something as complex but as ultimately cocksure as this description might suggest.

Listening to The Magic Eye is as much an experience in action art as a musical excavation. Salewicz’s incisive and evocative lyrics owe as much to T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land as they do to Strummer, Jones et al or any songwriter from the last thirty years. But The Savage Nomad’s true greatness is not contained solely in a thoughtful, enigmatic and articulate front man. Lead guitarist Joe Gillick’s prodigious talent is a revelation made all the more impressive due to its quicksilver relationship (both harmonious and in hypnotic conflict) with Salewicz’s idiosyncratic, original voice. All this would be hopeless without a rhythm section that can deliver – and both Josh Miles and Billy Boone add a solid diversity that keeps the disparate guitars and wordplay in order.

Dextrous guitar work, confident vocal stylings and unashamed ambition – The Savage Nomads are onto something here.

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