I’m sure there are hundreds of songs that have been described as “perfect” by somebody. It’s a confusing label, completely clouded by individual judgement and personal taste, so of course it’s something I’m going to touch on for my Ultimate Playlist. This is one of the few songs I consider perfect. The band Les Savy Fav exists in a state between pure punk and artsy-indie, and succeed by borrowing from the best of both worlds. Their raw energy is entirely punk rock, but their guitar style and noisy explorations are decidedly indie.
“The Sweat Descends” knocks it out of the park by refusing to meet you halfway. It knows full well that you’re going to fall right in from the very start. The ringing, echo quality of the distorted opening guitar creates a sense of immense size. That allows the rest of the band to fill right into the gaps 23 seconds in. Then it all pumps up. The propulsive disco-esque drums, the air-tight vocals that move from whisper-and-melody to shout-and-command effortlessly.
But the kicker is how that chorus just explodes. It’s a tried and true method of songwriting, but this variation almost moves your hand for you… all the way to the volume knob so you can crank it. The layers of thrashing guitar and pretty high notes just build and build and wash over you. But don’t mistake this for aimless noodling: the furious drumming and the impassioned voice maintains the punk force until it all ends. Get this on your playlists ASAP.