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|SAVAGE REPUBLIC: Don't you forget us #6|
Sixth instalment in my forgotten/dismissed/underappreciated Post-Punk bands list series: From a more poppy and one-note band, let's move on to a more traditional band (not really). I originally intended to make an entry for this one a bit later, but turns out one particular user had special expectations for it and I didn't want to keep him waiting.
A stylistic successor of the band's debut, this three-track EP contains pretty much all that the album it follows could have contained, the distorted, hellish and evil-sounding musical carnage. Don't expect it to caress your ears. That's not what it wants to do or what it wants you to feel.
Go-to tracks: The Ivory Coast
Seeing how their previous effort 1938 brought such fruits, the band decided to dedicate the remainder of their career to this exact style, the noisy post-rock. It's understandable that they'd want to pursue such idea, since it best suits their increasingly political motifs. Unfortunately, Varvakios does not hold up as well as its predecessor and in the end becomes just another post-rock album. It's a shame really that the band decided to leave all of their post-punk ideals behind and focus rather on the more formulaic music that never was in the band's finesse eye view anyway.
Go-to tracks: Hippodrome, Poros, Anatolia
Savage Republic's first is definitely the testament of its times, standing alongside other similar acts, be it Pop Group or Chrome. It's a rough, ugly and... well, savage... ehm... record. This album reeks of a certain twisted morale and some kind of inherently pissed-off attitude. The band ignores any sense of rhythm, refuses to apply melodies and manages to distort and thrust into discomfort any indication of songwriting. And while it does kick off in a more or less traditional way, by the end of it all, the thing turns into a hellish nightmare it was always intended to be.
Go-to tracks: Next to Nothing, Exodus, Flesh That Walks
An attempt to recreate their flawless flow on Trudge EP, but on a full length scale this time around. The band strays even further away from post-punk and present us a sort of mixture of shoegaze/dream pop/psych with some post-punk instrumentation and songwriting essence. The noise rock they excelled at initially is long gone by now, but every now and then the band serves us a proper dose of that good old dizzying mess they were actively creating in the beginning (see Rapeman's First EP)
Go-to tracks: Sono Cairo, Mapia, Song for Adonis, Archetype
It seemed that Varvakios has solidified the band's style for the future. Their stubborn dedication to pursue the art of post-rock may not have been the wisest decision, but not something impossible to pull off. But as is usual for this band, two records and they switch their style. This time around I am pleased to announce this latest record of their to be a return to the post-punk (not that they have ever actually done that). But the album suffers from its own thematic and musically conceptual weight with its over excessive use of some kinds of skits and musical interludes all either too short to be realised fully or not memorable enough to justify their presence. Still, the parts that do work, work fine. It's not a perfect album, but given how late into their career it is and what musical ideas and changes it bears, it's a more than welcome addition.
Go-to tracks: 27 Days, Bedouin, Peloponnesia, Omonoia, Sons and Lovers
It is strange how quickly the band started to normalise itself after the release of their debut. If you were to compare Ceremonial to Tragic Figures, you'd have no indication that it in fact comes from the same artist. The band transitioned from a menacing and demonic messiness into a much more traditionally-shaped formula. But true to the band's aesthetic, this album too is mixed with musical elements you might not expect. For Ceremonial takes influences from some truly psychedelic places, but never to an extent of it affecting the skeletal post-punk focus of the album. That'll come after.
Go-to tracks: Mediterranea, Ceremonial, Year of Exile, Land of Delusion
...Speaking of which. Trudge is an immaculate EP. It takes the idea of psych and world music influences presented on Ceremonial and pushes them to their absolute limits, sometimes to a point of erasing the post-punk core altogether. But one thing's for sure, not once in the band's career before or after have they had such a command of flow and virtuoso instrumentation. This EP is mesmerising.
Go-to tracks: Trek, Siege, Assembly
Jamahiriya Democratique et Populaire de Sauvage
The band has always had a certain fascination with psychedelic music, but only here has it reached its peak. Sure, Trudge EP was much more consistent and overall enjoyable, but it still felt more like a combo of genres. Now the band delves all in into this direction and delivers their trippiest album to date. Heck, even the more traditionally constructed songs (in the style of post-punk that is) are transformed into something completely different due to their production. It's visceral, dizzying and hypnotising, but it also has an odd evil atmosphere to it. There is simply something rotten deep within and it enthrals you like a dark spirit it is.
Go-to tracks: Spice Fields, Tabula Rosa, Lethal Musk
Savage Republic's on/off attitude towards their own sound and their radical changes over the years can be seen as its own stylistic solution or a mild annoyance. Either way they do their two primary varying sounds justice, be it obscure noisy madness or the perspective-blurring psychedelic menagerie on the verge of post-rock. But one thing's for sure, they have never been a direct straightforward post-punk. For them, experiments and twists with the sound have been bread and butter. But up until this moment it seemed that they are dedicated only to one of the styles at a time. 1938 finally marks the long overdue blend of the two into a strange, yet moving cacophony. It is a brilliantly constructed album with both instrumental and production value of post-punk, songwriting of psych and the flow of post-rock. It's what they were striving for all this time and it is of utmost brilliance.
Go-to tracks: Marshal Tito, Anemone, Siam, Song for Rikki, Torpedo, Peking
|Come to think of it, 1983 is actually more post-rock than anything else...|
|Unique, I'm struggling to keep up with these. Impressive work.|
|It's alright take your time. They're not going anywhere.|
|:D love you unique ♥|
I can't believe you put tragic figures so low!
|I guess that's just something you'll have to deal with.|
|it does makes me feel better about Echelons being low on your last list|
I'm starting to think our tastes in these bands are pretty divergent
|Both are more or less considered classics in each of these bands repertoires, but I just don't think that they hold up as well today.|
|so much shit to listen to!! beauty of a list, as always, Uni.. once I get through For Against, I'm starting on this one..|
|I'm thinking of taking a quick break and then coming back with something grander after the next Rec Roulette round.|
Sons and Lovers
Flesh That Walks