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Steven van Hemert

November 2007

Rating: 5 stars

The appeal of Saves is not only the inspired, inventive, poetic and absurd lyricism of Toast Coetzer’s words. They’re underpinned by some absolutely apposite music, supplied by musicians playing what a more jargon-driven reviewer would probably call post-rock, but which is really just some fine and thoughtful instrumental music. Buckfever’s musicians have all put in the hard bars on other projects, notably Righard Kapp, “the attention deficit-disorderd savant of the abstract guitar” as our Music editor describes him, and John Savage of Cassette.

For some reason, iTunes classifies Buckfever’s music generically as Brazilian. Possibly because it nakedly exposes the crazy, smelly beauty that is South Africa, but more likely because there are some great thongs on the record.

“I want to die on a Tuesday afternoon” is one of the inspired rants of rock ‘n roll, in the spirit of Shellac’s “Prayer to God”, with the same menacing sense of humour. “I want to die, I want to die,” sings (or chants, I suppose) Toast Coetzer, “I want to die without a wife, or at least without one that didn’t love me back, so I can be free of all the mourning, the bitterness and the black, all the tears & kak.”

“I want to die without a wife, or at least without one that didn’t love me back”It begins as standard melodrama, but the song devolves into a paean of absurdity, with the narrator becoming increasing worried about the timing of his suicide, preferring to die at a time of the year when he won’t lose so much on his DSTV and Die Burger subscriptions, and without causing too much hassle to the people who have to clean up.

I could go on quoting Coetzer’s lyrics, and that alone would sell Saves to you. “Prys die here god vir blowjobs, jubel sy naam vir email” (“Praise god for blowjobs, exalt his name for email”) probably best gives a sense of the album. The mashup of old school religious mythology, perennial desire and the language of hypermodernity permeates the album, creating one of the finest, most coherent musical offerings of the year. - Chris Roper

Saves also made it into their Top 10 albums of 2007, at no 3 nogals, beating out, you know, Bjork, The Arcade Fire and Common.