Genre: dark blues, alt-country, garage rock'n'roll
Label: Mistletone Rec. / Membran (Europe)
Booking territory: Central and Eastern Europe
“Savage sings like salvation depends on it – though not hers.” The Guardian
“Savage is a hypnotiser, she’s got me and she’ll get you.” 5/5 – The Herald Sun
Hypnotising audiences worldwide with their signature brand of country, blues and indie rock plus irresistible authenticity, Cash Savage and the Last Drinks are an award-winning six-piece with a live performance hailed among Australia’s best. Cash Savage’s heart-pumping live shows are backed by the devastating honesty of her lyrics and the raw talent of the band behind her.
Following on from 2016’s hugely acclaimed album One Of Us, 2018’s Good Citizens raises the stakes and signals the ascent of Cash Savage and the Last Drinks as one of the heavy hitters of Australian music’s new era. An incandescent live band at the height of their powers, led by mighty frontwoman Cash Savage, whose potent lyrics and impassioned delivery articulate the personal-political issues of these times with all her heart, guts and grit. Having towered over festival audiences at Golden Plains, Boogie and Sydney Festival, selling out The Corner in her hometown of Melbourne, and earning rave reviews for her recent packed-out Sydney show: (“You’d be hard-pressed to find a more exhilarating and heart-swelling live band in this country”– The Music), Cash Savage and the Last Drinks are on a mighty roll. The band has also made serious inroads in Europe, playing to huge crowds at festivals such as Binic Festival (France), Colours of Ostrava or Rock For People (both in Czech Republic). Good Citizens begins and ends with a thought. “I’m thinking violence is the answer”, Cash Savage sings as the Last Drinks rally behind her.
Of course, it’s just a thought. And this is just a song. But the music Cash Savage is making is informed by real life — her own, and those of the people for whom violence, or the threat of violence, is inescapably real. The human beings who are called minorities and treated as though their lives matter less than others. The women and children on whom domestic violence is enacted, and those in the LGBTIQ+ community for whom violence is an implied or overt threat behind the rhetoric of “family values” and “good citizens”.
The album opens with “Human, I am”, ringing out with a phrase that resonates in the #NotAllMen era: “It’s okay, you’re not one of them”; a disclaimer that many minorities feel they need to use when articulating the oppression they experience. The lyrics that follow call “time’s up” on the need to apologise; “I know what I am, I’m not yours / Not a leader / Not a follower / Not brave / Not yours / I am human”. “We’re all humans,” Cash affirms, “which means we’re all part of the problem. And we’re all part of the solution.”
The first two singles released to date, “Better Than That” and “Pack Animals”, both bear witness to the damage that prejudice inflicts, in the form of hurtful scrutiny or mindless mansplaining. The title track was inspired by disbelief of the warped representations of “mainstream” Australia portrayed in the TV commercials screened during a sporting event. “You don’t need a job to be a good citizen,” Cash insists. “You don’t need to go to church to be a good citizen. You don’t need to be married to be a good citizen. But a little bit of empathy could go a long way.”
The album comes to a devastating conclusion with “Collapse”, a song Cash wrote for her daughter. “I hope she understands that the world is a violent place,” Cash explains. “She’s growing up in a world where there’s violence everywhere, but our privilege allows us to believe that violence is someone else’s problem. The wars that are fought are at a distance. A non-violent life is a privileged life, and fewer and fewer people are living that privilege.”
The politics of Good Citizens hit home all the harder for their juxtaposition amongst songs that are deeply, passionately, personal. The ache of missing a partner (‘February’), the heady highs of falling in love (‘Sunday’), and the triumph of knowing that love is indestructible (‘Found You’). Even as it peers into the abyss of the anger and brutality that rock our times, Good Citizens burns with a fierce flame of belief in the goodness that may yet prevail.
“…But it’s live that Savage and her Last Drinks come into their own. This was one hell of a powerful, confident and intense show.” FBi Radio, Sydney Festival
“…country punk’n’roll coming out of the blackness with more power than the wind.”
Rolling Stone Australia
“One of Us – Album of the week” Beat Magazine
“Savage comes at us with gruff, dirty-fingernails country-rock like her life depends on it” 4/5 Herald Sun
“There’s a pain that rattles the core of Cash Savage’s third album… full of blues grunt and country groove that holler badass one minute and banjo tinged mellow the next” 4,5/5 – The Age
“The Hypnotiser is as assured and as compelling as anything released by an Australian artist this year… you know you are hearing a major new talent.” 4/5 – The Courier Mail
“Savage and her band trade in spooky gothic folk blues, the cry of fiddle strings and bite of a banjo redolent of beer and smoke. It’s a tense, sultry sound, staring down the fear that lurks on dusty, bloody, delta back roads, proselytising the gospel of rock’s own truth, ripe with a sense of theatre and omens while embracing the simple pleasures of a little love song.” 4/5 – The Age / Sydney Morning Herald
“The Hypnotiser is a melancholy, frank recording by an artist who has the ability to stick to her guns, yet be as chameleonic as she needs to be to get the job done. No mean feat.” Mess + Noise