L.A. art-punk band Savage Republic have always existed on the fringe, but they've managed to hold on to that fringe well past their '80s supposed heyday. They reformed to release 2007's fine 1938 album and now have released Varvakios, recorded in Greece using field recordings, traditional Greek instruments and the band's own apocryphal noise.
The band's show at Amoeba Hollywood Jan. 30 showed just how much fervor the band has, tearing through "1938" with its ominous opening lines "Wave of destruction, a wave of aggression, it's 1938 all over again" over searing, reverbed guitars and tribal drum beats. The band's percussionist/singer Ethan Port bumped into me from behind on his way to the stage, playing maracas over the din. Port banged on a tin-sounding box that added a desolate thump to the songs, beating it like he was leading a viking ship. The band traded instruments and vocal duty, with guitarist/bassist Thom Fuhrmann handling deeply intoned vocal declarations and Port barking like a barbarian. They played the Ceremonial record's gorgeous "Year of Exile," which led into the chaos of Furhmann beating his bass in unison with drummer Mark Erskine's rumbling roar before going back to the song's rubbery bassline. The band thanked Amoeba for having "a bunch of old guys" play, but they rocked like dudes half their age.
See all the photos from the in-store here.