SAVAK- “Flavors Of Paradise”

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Reviews

SAVAK Flavors Of Paradise


SAVAK is a workhorse. They play tons of shows with bands both known and unknown (check out pics of SAVAK with Jawbox in 2022), and consistently put out records of intelligent and tightly crafted post-punk/jangle-pop. Flavors of Paradise leans more on its melodic side than its angular side, resulting in a record that seems to have more space and air without relinquishing any of the bands sonic power. And if it’s one thing Savak has, it’s power. The trio of Sohrab Habibion (vocals, guitars, bass, keys, percussion), Michael Jaworski (vocals, guitars, bass, keys, percussion), and Matt Schulz (drums, percussion) deliver a punchy and lean record with “no guests, no edits,” as the band states.

Vocally, Habibion and Jaworski share two sides of the Lee Ranaldo coin, the tuneful and the poetic. Jaworski kicks off the record with “Up With the Sun,” a driving, hook-y rocker. As the title suggests, lyrically, it’s a look forward, away from the current hellscape we’re mired in:

Up with the sun 

Open eyes to a new dawn 

Up with the sun 

Left behind a broken body 

And nobody in the void to hear me scream 

Up with the sun 

Shine a light on everyone


The illumination theme continues with “Let the Sunlight In,” in which Habibion and Jaworski are somehow able to make a very catchy chorus out of listing different years, 1953, 1961, 1972, 1985. I’m singing it as I type! “The New New Age” rages with incisive commentary on the cynical meta-ness of the Metaverse:


Then we burned the photographs 

And the photographs of the photographs 

And we photographed that 

For the new new age


SAVAK performing

SAVAK (photo by Kate Hoos)


“Paid Disappearance” is pogo-worthy post-punk, feeling like a mix of Le Tigre and Gang of Four. “What Is It Worth” is a fantastic, moody jangler that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Guadalcanal Diary record. 


There’s a warmth to Flavors of Paradise that allows SAVAK’s melodic prowess to come more to the fore, while still being chock full of driving guitars and Schulz’s particularly powerful and precise drumming. The record is “lean, spacious, and lively,” the band says, and I would agree. Matthew Barnhart (Superchunk, Bob Mould) deserves credit for production that serves each song and lets the band’s strengths come through. The angles may have been rounded off a bit, but it’s all killer, no filler. The SAVAK train keeps a-rollin’!


Flavors of Paradise is out now via Peculiar Works Music and Ernest Jenning Record Co. and is available on Bandcamp and all major streamers.




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