Savage Republic \ Varvakios [LTMCD 2572]
Varvakios is the sixth studio album by acclaimed Los Angeles postpunk group Savage Republic. Recorded in Greece in February 2012 over the course of three hectic days, the album is a sequel of sorts to their 1989 album Customs, drawing on local sights, sounds and synergies. On several tracks the band are joined on violin by Blaine L. Reininger of Tuxedomoon, himself a resident of downtown Athens.
Says frontman Thom Fuhrmann: "To walk into such a volatile situation and create this music in such a short time was by far the most satisfying experience that I've ever had as an artist."
7. For Eva
"Varvakios was written, recorded and mixed in three days while buildings burned and Greece trembled with apocalyptic uncertainty. This all lends itself perfectly to the dour and gloomy vibe of a record that faultlessly recreates the feel of 1980s industrial post-punk. If Savage Republic were trying to conjure an atmosphere of dread and angry despair laced with acrid, billowing tear gas fumes, they couldn't have done a better job. The presence of guest violinist Blaine L. Reininger, of Tuxedomoon, adds spirit. The title track, a Balkan-flavoured fiddle dance, is lachrymose, jaunty and sweetly human. When the grid finally goes down and we settle into the long, slow post-industrial decline, you can guarantee we'll hear voices like that wafting through the campfires" (The Wire, 09/2012)
"Reininger adds a delicate, emotive dimension to the Republic's trademark post-punk sound" (Dark Entries, 09/2012)
"A welcome return by LA's post-punk survivors, the re-formed lineup last heard on 1938 for Neurot is supplemented by Tuxedomoon violinist Blaine L. Reininger on a number of tracks, subtly lending a sort of melancholy Rembetika or Balkan spirit to the synergy of field recordings, expansive post punk guitar carvings, tribal percussions and distortion" (Boomkat, 09/2012)