Alan Savage was a part of Middlesborough-based new wave experimentalists Basczax in the late seventies, frontman of 80s new romantics The Flaming Mussolinis, and in more recent years has been spotted languishing on a Malaysian beach. With news appearing that Savage is set to return to the UK, Seraglio Point Productions have released this teenies compilation of the songwriter’s best work this decade.
‘Transmissions…’ is the absolute definition of a grower. The kind of vineyard Lit rock these songs represent is unique, carefully honed vessels, pored and agonised over until just right. Futuristic, chromatic tales such as opener ‘Sexy Robot’ and instrumental stomper ‘Crocus Licker’ bookend more reflective, time-worn beauties such as ‘Velvet and She’ and the sublime, Roy Orbison-fronting-New Order loveliness of ‘Lonely Eyes’.
The entire central section from ‘Flare Stacks’ to ‘…Eyes’ is frankly wonderful – the kind of segment the much overused phrase ‘classic album’ was invented for. All complex music should be listened to at least four times to give it time to percolate through to the soul; on the fifth the listener will be hooked for a lifetime. The aforementioned ‘Flare Stacks’ is utterly perfect; half-forgotten memories of Brian Eno’s ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’ rising up a hillside to meet Mercury Rev coming down.
Alan Savage is a new wave survivor of the finest vintage, honing, refining and never letting an intelligent radio pop hook escape without sinking it deep into the consciousness. ‘Patricia Wants Everyone To Know’ that not only does she keep her post-op penis in a cigar box, but that her creator has also come up with one of the finest collection of songs of the decade so far.