SAVAGE REPUBLIC: Box Set: 4 X CD

Back when the battle lines were still just being drawn between different factions of punk rock and the ridiculous level of pigeonholing prevalent today was still in its infancy stages, some bands were hell-bent on not fitting into any one mold. Savage Republic was one such band, one that created an unholy mélange of hardcore, industrial noise, proto-goth death rock, surf and Middle Eastern drone and somehow made it work. Over the course of nearly a decade, they played a slew of shows and released four studio albums, a couple of live albums, a few EPs and a handful of singles before calling it quits in 1989. Collected here are the bulk of their studio recordings, including the Tragic Figures, Ceremonial, Jamahiriya, and Customs albums, the Trudge EP and assorted singles and compilation tracks, all of which have been damn hard to find for quite a while now, and now all packaged in individual, full-color letter-pressed envelopes not unlike the covers the original releases came in. Although, in hindsight, some comparisons can be made to some of their contemporaries like the Swans and early Sonic Youth, the band’s sound is still as singular, revolutionary and wholly difficult to classify as when they were still a consistently active band. If you like your punk a little more adventurous than the next guy, you would be hard pressed to find more satisfying tuneage, ’cause not only is this stuff all over the map, it’s consistently good, a rare feat for any band. If you like your punk to sound just like Social Distortion, Blink 182 or whatever spiky-headed boy band is hot this week, you’re in the wrong scene, my friend. Might I suggest heavy metal? They LOVE conformity over in that camp.

 –jimmy (www.mobilization.com)