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Thursday, March 5, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 16.0° F  Fair
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Les Savy Fav
Let's Stay Friends (French Kiss)

From Tapes 'n Tapes to the Black Angels, leading indie rock bands have taken on harder, heavier tones during the past two years. New York's Les Savy Fav never had a problem hammering out aggressive tracks. But on this, their first studio release since 2001, witty humor and irony are as much a part of the equation as anger.

That's clear from the start, when singer Tim Harrington mocks the band's own sound: "There was this band/Called the pots and pans/They made this noise/That people couldn't stand."

More than once, Les Savy Fav signal they've evolved. "Brace Yourself" finds dozens of ways to describe growth ("Before I was a day, I was a dawn"). "Scotchguard the Credit Card" is a subtle condemnation of unchecked consumerism.

The greatness of Let's Stay Friends lies in its contrasts. An album with a yearbook-sweet title features bruising musical content and whip-smart ideas.

So here's my high school yearbook advice to Les Savy Fav: Don't Ever Change.

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