Seminal Los Angeles postpunk outfi Savage Republic have long been creating enticing, complex soundscapes and political anthems by weaving together a myriad of influences: a little Greek bouzouki here; a little Indian raga there; some Ennio Morricone; a pinch of Arabic scale with jangling California surf guitars and pounding tribal percussion.
Their worldly approach has added to their four decades of endurance, leaving a massive influence on the scene and collaborating with countless others. The roster of Savage Republic collaborators and stagemates is as impressive as it is eclectic: Blaine L. Reininger of Tuxedomoon, Einstürzende Neubauten, Camper Van Beethoven, The Dream Syndicate, Psi-Com, 100 Flowers, Christian Death, Sonic Youth, Live Skull, The Minutemen, Fugazi, the Buzzcocks, and Graham Lewis of Wire…to name a few.
Now the band has revealed a new video for their epic track “Stingray”, off their latest album Meteora: a dazzling tribute to the energy of West Coast surf culture, with their signature mix of Eastern influences and wellspring of intensity.
The performance video for Stingray was shot at a misty vista that showcases the band as they are: cult figures with a passion for sound and the beauty of the natural world.
Watch the video for “Stingray” below:
Savage Republic were founded in the early 1980s, making a name for themselves with their anarchic live shows (sometimes on Skid Row, sometimes burning trash cans of pampas leaves) and often exotic percussion. Oil cans, metal pipes, and 55-gallon drums served as their makeshift drum kits. Although their earlier efforts were less accessible, their lineup changes, shifting influences and creative approaches evolved into something more melodic and sophisticated. Like the currents of the tide, the band has ebbed and flowed – none of the founding members are still with the group, but members have entered and exited at various points in time, contributing to their sonic evolution. Savage Republic’s current lineup consists of Thom Fuhrmann, Ethan Port, Alan Waddington, and Kerry Dowling.
Founding member Bruce Licher went on to become a highly successful album artist, creating covers for Camper Van Beethoven and R.E.M.
Meteora was self-recorded in a secret cavernous location. One of the many highlights is the pandemic-inspired piece “Unprecedented”, a gift from Wire’s Graham Lewis). This longest-lasting lineup of Savage Republic have infused all the power of their legendary live performances into a cinematic sonic dreamscape.
“Still weaving lofty dystopian travelogues and beating the scourge of fascism with metal pipes,” they say. Glad to know they’re still evolving.
All in-print releases are available here. Listen to Stingray below:
“Stingray” is featured on Savage Republic’s new album Meteora which will be released on May 20 in North America via Mobilization Recordings.
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