Republic of Safety Vacation

Republic of Safety Vacation
One of Toronto’s most passionate and purposeful bands, Republic of Safety have followed up one rocking manifesto with another. Last year’s Passport EP introduced the Republic as a musical movement — a banging, clanging post-hardcore band with an empowering vision of an idealised world. If you pick up a passport, you might as well go on Vacation, right? Hell, why not just quit your job altogether? That’s the life-is-too-short message of this new EP’s title track, which Maggie MacDonald delivers with all the romantic conviction she can muster. The theatrical vocalist and lyricist is the contemporary equivalent of Kathleen Hanna and Jello Biafra, sharing a belief that political motion can begin with well-reasoned personal acts. Even the fatalistic view of "Disposable World” is tempered by a customary RoS call to arms. The chants and slogans are bolstered by Jonny Dovercourt’s imaginative, razor-sharp guitar work, which recalls the heyday of Dischord bands in the mid-’90s. With Don Pyle recording, the band’s frenetic energy is in full effect, even on haunting numbers like "The Insects” and the sordid "The Favourite Game.” Though less searing than Passport, Vacation is an exciting burst of playful, politically-charged art punk from a fascinating young nation.

What is the Republic of Safety? MacDonald: The 20th century was the death of the utopian dream. The Republic of Safety is the resurrection of the "utilitopian” dream, founded upon "materialogical” rather than ideological principles. Our nation is open to all and it consists, so far, of our apartments and practice space.

What’s the sentiment behind Vacation’s "quit your job” refrain? Often we get stuck in jobs where we’re part of a power structure that we’re not comfortable with. Like, our boss makes us feel uncomfortable or we do things we don’t agree with. But there’s always another job or something you can do for money. The whole thing with tyrannical oppression is that it gives you an illusion of permanence, one where you can’t see any escape. But really, you can always quit your job!

What about the band’s sound? Dovercourt: In a sense this band was coming back to a sound that I left behind for a while. In the mid-’90s, I was in Secret Agent who were part of a moment in Canadian indie rock, along with bands like Pecola, Smallmouth and Shotmaker. I sort of missed that crazy, chaotic, guitar rock sound and I wanted to merge it with something more danceable and inclusive. (Ta Da)