Thus far, this year's hotly tipped alt-rockers have sounded weirdly flaccid and aimless: listening to the albums behind the hype, you find yourself wondering how the bands could be bothered to make them. That is not a problem with the debut from London quartet Savages, which burns with a feverish sense of purpose: the sheer intensity with which She Will or City's Full are delivered is breathtaking. You can hear echoes of the music that inspired them: frequent comparisons to Siouxsie aren't, as the band have intimated, a reflection of a sexist media's inability to see beyond a singer's gender so much as a reflection of the fact that singer Jehnny Beth sounds not unlike Siouxsie; while Sonic Youth's ghost lurks around the whirlwinds of feedback on I Am Here and spooked, clangorous instrumental Dead Nature. But what's striking is how easily Savages slip the moorings of their influences and come up with something fresh: you'd be hard-pushed to come up with anything else that sounds like Hit Me's combination of rockabilly snarl, guitar noise and lyrical thumbs-up for S&M.
Alexis Petridis is the Guardian's head rock and pop critic