Leave it to Barrence Whitfield and the Savages to write a garage-rock shout-along anthem about classical pianist, composer, character actor, and talk show wit Oscar Levant, the title subject of the third track from this 12-song outing by the reunited stalwarts of Boston’s ’80s club scene. In their second outing after a 25-year absence, the band continues to offer a punked up reimagination of R&B and Eddie Cochrane-like roadhouse rock, fueled by dirty guitars, honking sax, occasional greasy B-3 organ, Whitfield’s stentorian R&B shouts and growls, and offbeat subject matter. Most of these latter-day nuggets are written by longtime Savage guitarist Peter Greenberg with collaborators, but there are well-chosen covers like late bluesman Frankie Lee Sims’s “Hey Little Girl” and R&B songwriter Lee Moses’ “I’m Sad About It.” This isn’t complicated, just tasty, and performed with wit and expertise. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Oscar Levant”
Barrence Whitfield and the Savages play a CD release show at the Middle East Downstairs Sept. 7.