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Saturday, January 31, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 28.0° F  Overcast
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Les Savy Fav
Let's Stay Friends (French Kiss)
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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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