Thursday 3 February 2022

Savage Republic - Figures of Considerable Repute (1982-2014)


Short bio:
Savage Republic is an American, Los Angeles-based post-punk band, formed in the early 1980s. The group reformed in 2002 and remains active with a different lineup. They are known for lengthy songs with an emphasis on percussion and droning guitars.

The band was originally named Africa Corps, and was formed by UCLA students Bruce Licher (guitar) and Mark Erskine (drums/percussion). They were joined by Philip Drucker (aka Jackson Del Rey), Robert Loveless, and Jeff Long. Shortly before the release of debut album "Tragic Figures" in 1982 they changed their name to Savage Republic. The group split up towards the end of 1983 with a second album partially completed. The band returned in 1985 with the album "Ceremonial", and the "Trudge" EP. Brad Laner joined prior to the 1988 album "Jamahiriya Democratique et Populaire de Sauvage", and a further studio album "Customs" was released prior to the band splitting up in 1990.

Savage Republic reformed in 2002 with original member Licher and members from the mid-1980s including Greg Grunke, Thom Fuhrmann and Ethan Port, although Licher left after a first tour. The remaining members recorded the album "1938", released in 2007. In 2012 the group released "Varvakios", intended as a sequel of sorts to their 1989 album "Customs".  Their 7th studio album, "Aegean" was released in early 2014, and their most recent release "Meteora" came out in 2021. Click here for full bio.

My introduction to Savage Republic was in the late 80s when I bought their 2nd album "Ceremonial".  Taking a gamble, never having heard them before,  it was going very cheap 2nd hand, only costing me £2. This was the original version which had vocals on most tracks, later versions of the album removed those vocals. In 2006 they brought out a special version of the album, titled "Ceremonial: Vocals and Studio Outtakes" which had many versions of most songs including remixes. I didn't mind the vocal version too much, but can understand why they removed them for further reissues. After buying "Customs", that seemed to be it for the band, which seemed a shame as I'd rather enjoyed all their albums up to that point. So I was pleasantly surprised when they reformed, finding their studio releases from 2007 onwards just as good as their earlier output.

There has already been a compilation of this band, released in 2010, titled "Procession: An Aural History 1981-2010", which also included a live recording from 2010. Definitely worth checking out, but like most band compilations I found a few particular favourites of mine weren't included, so decided to rectify that! For this collection I've taken 2 tracks each from their studio albums, up until 2014's "Aegean", plus a few EP/single tracks.

2 particular albums I'd recommend are "Ceremonial" (the instrumental version) from their earlier years, and their comeback album "1938" which is probably my favourite release by the band. As ever, info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I hope you enjoy this latest collection.

01. Trudge (7:13)
02. Dionysious (2:45)
03. Pios Den Mila Yia Ti Lambri (3:43)
04. When All Else Fails... (3:03)
05. Film Noir (3:26)
06. The Birds of Pork (6:23)
07. Song for Rikki (4:16)
08. Omonoia (4:34)
09. Sparta (4:43)
10. Next to Nothing (3:21)
11. Year of Exile (9:26)
12. Moujahadeen (3:24)
13. Mapia (4:47)
14. Mobilization (3:18)
15. Siege (4:20)
16. Hippodrome (4:20)
17. Aegean (7:07)
18. Taranto!!! (3:14)
19. Caravan (17:03)

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