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Savage Republic \ Procession: An Aural History (2CD) [LTMCD 2557]

Definitive best of CD by acclaimed Los Angeles postpunk group Savage Republic. Formed by noted artist-designer Bruce Licher in 1981, and inspired equally by punk and Krautrock, the band went on to record four studio albums between 1982 and 1989, most issued through their own Independent Project Records label. The band were particularly popular in Europe, touring regularly, and even grazing mainstream consciousness with an appearance on the soundtrack of the movie Silence of the Lambs.

The original band split in 1989, but reformed twelve years later, releasing fifth album 1938 in 2007. This best of collection includes selected tracks from all albums - Tragic Figures, Ceremonial, Jamahiriya Democratique, Customs and 1938 - as well as rare singles including Swordfighter. The deluxe package also includes a 45 minute bonus live CD recorded at a festival concert in Spain on 30 January 2010.

Tracklist:

Disc 1

1. The Ivory Coast
2. Next to Nothing
3. Film Noir
4. Mobilization
5. Siege
6. Andelusia
7. Ceremonial
8. Walking Backwards
9. Viva la Rock 'n' Roll
10. Tabula Rasa
11. Jamahiriya
12. The Birds of Pork
13. Sucker Punch
14. 1938
15. Siam
16. Swordfighter

Disc 2

1. Year of Exile (live)
2. Next to Nothing (live)
3. Mobilization (live)
4. Trek (live)
5. Siam (live)
6. Viva la Rock 'n' Roll (live)
7. 1938 (live)
8. Procession (live)

2xCD set.

Procession: An Aural History [LTMCD 2557]

Reviews:

'America's best-kept secret. No superpower likes to concede the presence of an autonomous state within its borders' (The Wire, 1988)

'Savage Republic are the best group you never stood still for' (NME, 03/1986)

'Though formed in Los Angeles, SR's tendancy to bend music into art shapes had a lot in common with Wire's approach to recording. Tracks like Next To Nothing are SR's own blend of art rock with a simple guitar melody and soft vocal that really command attention. On the other hand, the jangle and swagger of Walking Backwards shows that REM did not have exclusive rights over American indie hearts, while the six minute Birds of Pork is a throbbing instrumental standout which bends time between Krautrock, Chrome, Cabaret Voltaire and the Republic's own internal synergy. There are also two tracks from 2007's reunion album 1938, bringing listeners up to speed. A second disc of live workouts recorded in 2010, fantastic sleevenotes and the 2009 single Swordfighter seals the deal' (Record Collector, 10/2010)

'A fierce, tribal-rhythmned post-punk ensemble, Savage Republic lit up the LA intelligentsia from 1981-89 with a mostly-instrumental art rock, incorporating mesmeric, repetitive, majestic, thoroughly cinematic, Eastern guitar signatures along with taut, tense, terse bass, drums, and percussion. Top it all off with a typically flooring fine-art Licher-design sleeve, as ever IPRís hallmark, and a second live disc from Spain from 2010 and you have a top-notch package' (The Big Takeover, 09/2010)

'Back in its '80s heyday, Savage Republic was one of the few rock acts that could genuinely be called challenging. Led primarily by guitarist Bruce Licher, the L.A.-based ensemble combined the tribal throb of early industrial music, the steady drive of Krautrock and the angular melodic jangle of postpunk into a noisy, vibrant stew that's as capable of soothing as scorching. Vocals were kept to a minimum, often blurted or shouted more than sung, and instrumental virtuosity took a back seat to ensemble energy and intensity. Though the band itself found little by way of mainstream success, it garnered enough of a loyal cult following to be not only fondly remembered, but influential on acts as varied as Neurosis and Wilderness. Procession: An Aural History 1981-2010 collects tracks from across the band's career, drawing mostly from its Reagan-era LPs and 45s, but also including cuts from its recent reunion work. Underscoring that notion is a bonus live disk, recorded at a Spanish festival in 2010, that shows the band (minus Licher but with his blessing) as fiery and creative as ever - check the sublime opener Year of Exile or the cheerily goofy Trek. Ultimately Procession is almost a teaser, a mere hint of what Savage Republic is capable. Hopefully this collection serves as a calling card to set us up for a full-on reissue campaign for the band's entire catalog' (Blurt.com, 12/2010)