Barrence Whitfield & The Savages: Under The Savage Sky

Thumping fight-back from Boston garage rockers.

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

On their return to the scene in 2010, Barrence Whitfield & The Savages probably clocked that it had gotten mighty crowded since their 80s heyday, with a legion of new arrivals (Vintage Trouble, the Daptone roster etc) reaching up to snatch the crown from Boston’s rockin’ soul bruisers.

Like any prize fighter who makes a comeback, Barrence & Co are faced with the prospect of upping their game. The songs on this follow-up to 2013’s Dig Thy Savage Soul rock harder than before while retaining the garage signature of ex-Lyres guitarist Peter Greenberg. In other words, they still sound like The Sonics fronted by Ike Turner/Wilson Pickett/Howlin’ Wolf/insert name of badass shouter here.

The Claw is Strychnine with the punchy blast of Memphis horns, while Adjunct Street soulfully demonstrates that the man who changed his name from Barry White can tackle heartbreak songs with equal dexterity. Every number is attacked with such ferocity that whoever comes for Barrence Whitfield better watch out – they could find themselves on the ropes in no time.

Classic Rock 214: New albums M-Z

Claudia Elliott is a music writer and sub-editor. She has freelanced for BBC Radio 2's Sounds of the 60s, Uncut, History of Rock, Classic Rock and The Blues magazine. She is a 1960s music specialist.