Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Reptar: "Lurid Glow" (album review)

It's a challenge to try to annotate all of the myriad influences that go into the music of Athens, GA's Reptar.  The genre-benders are at it again with a new album, Lurid Glow, that comes out on March 31st.

The bright, quirky, warbled beats of "No One Will Ever Love You" is exactly the kind of thing we would expect from Reptar, based on their debut record.  It's a combination of modern electronic indie music and New Wave that is particularly sharp on "Cable" (with it's tail-end of the '80s New Wave vibe).  The clockwork rhythm of "Ice Black Sand" has a heavy Devo influence.



The pace picks up for "Sea of Fertility" as horns slash across a frenetic chorus.  "Daily Season" gives us the most aggressive version of electronic music on the album.

Even more intriguing is "Amanda".  The song sounds like what "Darling Nikki" would've been if Tom Waits had been tasked with doing the arrangement.

Not every mash-up of influences works.  "Every Chance I Get" has far too much of the worst elements of '80s pop to it, while there's a severe disconnect between the techno pop components of "Easier To Die" and the underlying rhythm.

After a while it all becomes a little too much.  The aural collages eventually give way to other things in your head in a 'did I leave the iron on?' kind of way.  By the time "Particle Board" and "Breezy" roll along, the average listener will be almost completely tuned out.

Best tracks: "Ice Black Sand", "Sea of Fertility"

Track listing for Lurid Glow:

  • No One Will Ever Love You
  • Ice Black Sand
  • Cable
  • Sea of Fertility
  • Amanda
  • Every Chance I Get
  • Easier To Die
  • Daily Season
  • Particle Board
  • Breezy
6.0/10

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