The biggest problem with Republic of Safety's eagerly anticipated follow-up to last year's fab Passport EP is that it's too damn short. You only get four frenetic tracks jammed into just over 10 minutes to appreciate their development from a shrieky post-Riot Grrrl DIY project into a snaky, aggressive politico-post-punk machine. The title track is the standout, a bohemian rallying cry driven by a mantra-like chorus, ringing guitar and Owen Pallett's urgent violin-sawing, but Insects reveals a new depth and confidence in Maggie MacDonald's vocals. Where she used to rely on hesistant speak-singing punctuated by periodic shouts, MacDonald's purring like Debbie Harry and even pulling off the occasional sultry vibrato in the lower end of her range. That said, her robotic insinuations of eastern Ontario incest on The Favourite Game are a riot.
Republic of Safety launch Vacation at Sneaky Dee's Saturday (May 27).