by carl wilson

If You're Gonna Do It Once, Then Do It Now


The song Vacation by Republic of Safety has long been my unofficial Torontopian anthem - on the one hand it's got the tried-and-true exhortations to DIY that go back at least 30 years in punk-boho ideologibberish but still are the part that stand up: "You don't need a dime and you don't need a plan/ Just write your book and start your band." Class this in the category of Shit That Needs Saying on the Regular. But the particular slogan of "don't wait for vacation" stitches across time into space - the idea of it's not something that happens elsewhere, at a better time, in some romantic place - the utopian gesture is yours to make and inhabit here and now. Now the song is the centrepiece of a four-track EP by the new lineup of RoS, which has lost its double-lady-bassist-rhythm-section mojo but definitely improved its studio chops since the last EP, Passport. (Which, however, includes the band's very best song, I Like to Work.) The new disc is produced by Don Pyle. I still wish, especially on the second half, that they'd thrown more fire (known in the trade as "compression," perhaps) on Maggie's voice - the stylish scorch of her live stage presence still isn't in these tracks, though the insouciant curl of her lip is. Still the sound in general impressively incubates the erotics of the instrumental interplay. (And whispery background vox is always a pleasure multiplier.) Whaddya want, a RIYL? Okay: Republic of Safety is for fans of Sleater-Kinney, Mission of Burma, the Gossip, Khia, Kelis, Valerie Solanas, Abba and the Archies, as well as democratic socialism and assymetrical federalism. You can mainline it tonight in Montreal at Club Lambi and tomorrow (Sat.) in Toronto at Sneaky Dee's. I give it eighteen pineapples with dynamite inside out of twenty.

Meanwhile maybe tonight I'll see you on the Santa Cruz? What are you wearing? See the gig guide for further options, comme d'habitude.

| Posted by zoilus on Friday, May 26 at 2:14 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (10)



Do you want me to answer that?

Do you want me to answer that?

Posted by Dovercourt on May 30, 2006 11:43 AM



why is the internet so easy to use for bad but so difficult to use for good?

Posted by david b on May 30, 2006 10:34 AM



why is the internet so easy to use for bad but so difficult to use for good?

Posted by david b on May 30, 2006 10:34 AM



Yeah, David, I think you are confusing the band's website with the band here. The website is just a website. They have precisely one song that in any way addresses the "concept" in the band name. I wouldn't call it a concept band, just a rock band - so it's different in kind, not in intensity, from Barcelona Pavilion, say.

Posted by zoilus on May 29, 2006 7:07 PM



Oh, but thanks for the kind words and the back-up, Mr. Zoilus.

Posted by Dovercourt on May 29, 2006 5:18 PM



Bah. Maybe it's just a fun way of talking about the usual rock shop-talk. Would you rather read that which you quoted, or "be sure to pick up our disc"? I know which I'd rather write. And you are off base by assuming that we came up with the concept before forming, we had most of the Passport songs written long before we brainstormed pages and pages worth of band names.

Posted by Dovercourt on May 29, 2006 5:16 PM



Is anything delivered with a sense of humour automatically schtick?

Posted by zoilus on May 29, 2006 2:52 AM



I like ideas discussed above but the execution is shtick.

Citizens please pledge allegiance to the Republic of Safety, and acquire a copy of the Vacation EP, released May 30, 2006 on Ta Da! Records.

The concept is so forced that it has totally lost clout.

Posted by david b on May 28, 2006 3:27 PM



reading this provided me with my first reminder of khia's existence in over three years. i don't think i'm grateful.
i haven't seen RoS since the line-up change, but i'm sure i'll get around to it soon.

Posted by merckeda on May 26, 2006 4:32 PM



vacation has always been my fave RoS song, ever since I saw a video of it on aperture enzyme, and then saw it live for the first time at sneaky dee's when they opened for the ss cardiacs cd release.. i was shouting along feverishly...

Posted by andrew on May 26, 2006 2:36 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson