Singles & EPs
Something of an indie rock supergroup, SAVAK are a stylistically eclectic band featuring past and present members of a number of celebrated groups. Including musicians who have worked with the Obits, Edsel, the Cops, and Holy Fuck, SAVAK's music is lean but brawny indie rock that leans heavily on guitars, with horns and keyboards used to give the performances detail and texture. The band hit their stride with 2017's Cut-Ups, and were in similarly strong form a year later on Beg Your Pardon, while 2020's Rotting Teeth in the Horse's Mouth welcomed several guest artists to add new layers to their music.
Founded in Brooklyn in 2015, SAVAK was named for the much-feared secret police force associated with the leadership of Imperial Iran from 1957 to 1979. Influenced by vintage punk rock, psychedelia, pub rock, and various stripes of world music, the group was founded by vocalist and guitarist Sohrab Habibion, who was previously a member of Edsel and the Obits. Habibion filled out the lineup with friends and colleagues who also had notable experience under their belts. Guitarist Michael Jaworski had played in Virgin Islands and the Cops; bassist James Canty's resumé included stints in the Make-Up and Ted Leo & the Pharmacists; and drummer Matt Schulz divides his time between SAVAK and Holy Fuck.
In 2016, SAVAK unveiled their debut album, Best of Luck in Future Endeavors, which was released by Comedy Minus One Records. The cover art was designed by Rick Froberg, who was Habibion's bandmate in the Obits. In 2017, SAVAK were back with their second album, Cut-Ups, released by the Ernest Jenning Record Co. Just a year later, they treated their fans to a third LP, Beg Your Pardon, also released by Ernest Jenning. In 2020, the prolific band delivered their fourth album, Rotting Teeth in the Horse's Mouth. It was SAVAK's first album since James Canty left the group; producer Geoff Sanoff played bass in his place on several cuts, as did Habibion and Jaworski, while Anthony Roman from Radio 4 provided the low end on "Listening" and "Bayonet." Other guests included Scott McCloud (ex-Girls Against Boys) and Michael Hampton (who played in Faith and One Last Wish). ~ Mark Deming