Out MARCH 9TH
Flavors Of Paradise. Freaky Orange Parka. Fun-loving Octogenarian Pickleballers. The 6th album by Brooklyn’s post-punk stalwarts SAVAK, Flavors Of Paradise, was recorded in Chicago at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio without Steve Albini. For a band that has toured Europe five times and never set foot in California, recording 12 songs in 3 days was a breeze across the Danube. The band hunkered down, jammed out ideas in 2 marathon sessions, played a couple of shows to test drive the new material and then got to work with Matthew Barnhart (Superchunk, Bob Mould). No guests, no edits, no country and definitely no funk—the record is lean, spacious and lively.
Noisey/VICE wrote that SAVAK makes “a potent and pointed agitpop racket which manages to balance the dark and moody with the catchy as fuck.” UK’s Louder noted the group’s “endlessly astute observations on the modern world.” And Mojo magazine highlighted their “superior twin-guitar slash action.” So what does that get you? Well, there are recognizable touchstones across electric guitar-based music from the 60s to today. The jagged stabs of The Fall are tempered by harmonies you might hear in a Flamin’ Groovies tune. A nod to The 13th Floor Elevators is purposefully undercut with a riff that’d make Wilko Johnson proud. You can pull out details that wouldn’t be out of place in songs by Royal Headache, Stereolab, NoMeansNo, Feelies, Stooges, Kinks, Mission of Burma, etc. If the guitar can do it, SAVAK is willing to find a way to use it.
After 5 LPs, an EP, a handful of 7”s, and a couple of split releases, SAVAK still has plenty to say. They comfortably take on marriage, espionage, self-reflection, credit (or lack of), sympathy, absurdity, vulnerability, polarization, dogs . . . dogs? Yes. Sure, it’s probably a metaphor, but—woof woof SAVAK is equally comfortable at the dog park as they are browsing the local used bookstore.
What’s your flavor? Press play and find out.