Reptar - Body Faucet

A mixed bag of colourful, intricate indie-pop and melancholic slow burners.

Being named after the dinosaur in the 90s Nickelodeon TV show Rugrats, it’s safe to say that this Athens, GA based quartet don’t take themselves too seriously. After seeing a live studio video of ‘Blast Off’ on YouTube late in 2010, which could’ve easily passed off as a proper recording, and hearing that they were being produced by Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter), there were big hopes for Reptar’s further output. Having now heard their debut full-length ‘Body Faucet’, it’s a definite mixed bag of colourful, intricate indie-pop and melancholic slow burners.

Opener ‘Sebastian’ bursts into life with stop/start guitar riffs via Vampire Weekend, squelching synth undertones and Ulicny’s shapeshifting vocals that go from yelping to crooning to gravelly tones throughout the album. Along with a clapping section and sing-along chants; this would undoubtedly go down a storm at a festival. Following on is ‘Please Don’t Kill Me’ which carries on the upbeat vibe with afrobeat percussion but juxtaposes this with Ulicny’s whispery falsetto that pleads in the chorus, ‘Please don’t kill me.’ ‘Isoprene’ changes the tone, delving into oriental pop inspired guitars that don’t sound far off Blood Orange and rapidly spoken phrases that pass before you get the chance to understand a word that’s been said.

By ‘Ghost Bike’, the mood has changed completely, as soft guitar musings, pacing drums and atmospheric piano retell the story of witnessing your friend die and being the one to survive it. Ulicny comments, ‘She was right in front of me, yeah I saw what happened’ and pleads ‘Hold me closer babe, please don’t let me go’ even though it’s too late. ‘New House’ is a whole world away, a song for celebration rather than for loss, showing a carefree attitude ‘I don’t care for now/So what?’ before building up to the reason why, as Ulicny repeats ‘Because I’m in a new house, I’m in love again’ as if the whole world has to hear this exclamation of joy.

‘Thank You Gilese’ sees Reptar switch it up again, this time for 80s inspired scratchy synths, shoegaze guitars and 8-bit loops which could potentially sound really strange but works here. ‘Sweet Sipping Soda’ is more Brooklyn indie-disco than anything with punchy fuzzy guitar riffs, twanging bass, shaking tambourines and booming percussion that all crescendo into a euphoric chorus as Ulicny shouts ‘Oh yeah, my heart is beating so fast’ matching the tempo of the song.

However, the last two songs, ‘Three Shining Suns’ and ‘Water Runs’ would’ve done better following ‘Ghost Bike’ as the switch in mood once again is anti-climatic after ‘Sweet Sipping Soda’ as Ulicny goes back into emotional territory, almost answering to the person in question in ‘Ghost Bike’ in ‘Three Shining Suns’ as he says ‘You know it wasn’t my fault’. Overall, Reptar have pieced emotions together, both euphoric and heartbreaking, to create a debut that, although perhaps too varied in places, is a great starting point for the quartet.

Tags: Reptar, Reviews, Album Reviews

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