Monday, May 7, 2012

Album Review: Reptar - "Body Faucet"

For weeks, perhaps even months, I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Reptar's debut full-length album, Body Faucet. If you follow FPT regularly, especially my own personal writings, you probably already know that I'm an enormous Reptar enthusiast.

And so finally, the first of May came, and the album was released via Vagrant Records. And Body Faucet delivers on multiple levels..

On the surface, the album plays straight through without a single disappointment; equally as abstract as it is intelligent. But Reptar shows an uncanny amount of growth and development as a band with Body Faucet, especially in comparison to their 5 song EP "Oblangle Fizz Y'all," which was released last fall. For instance, nearly every track clocks in at around five minutes long, and somehow doesn't ever get boring or convoluted. Reptar intricately uses all of the members' instruments to create an almost "jam" type of sound, but with much more purpose and poise. Let me say this: there is not a single wasted note of music in this album.

 The first track, "Sebastian" has been promoted on the internet as the first available single from Body Faucet, so it's already received plenty of praise and hype. The chorus is incredibly bright, with a simple "Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh!" sing-along-inducing chorus, a common theme throughout the album. In fact, if I have any complaint about the album, it's held within the chorus of "Houseboat Babies," the fifth track, in which the band uses an actual chorus to respond to lead singer Graham's question "Oh, can you feel it?" with an obvious "Yes, I can feel it!" I just envision the song as being even better without the backing chorus.  Even so, the track is one of the highlights of the album.

Other highlights on the album are found in the tracks "Please Don't Kill Me", "Natural Bridge",  "Isoprene Bath", and "Thank You Gliese 370b". The latter two songs provide the listener a glimpse at just how nerdy the bands' members are. I beg you to look into what the titles to each of those songs actually mean.

Reptar shows their true depth and growth on tracks like "Ghost Bike" (and "Three Shining Suns") where the band takes their highly energetic sound down a notch, slowing the instrumentals down and allowing Graham to showcase his crooning talents. "Ghost Bike" is followed immediately by the most pop-influenced track on the album, "New House" which sounds like it's actually a Talking Heads cover.

The Talking Heads reference is one that has (n)either plagued or benefited the band since their formation. Yes, the similarities are there, but Reptar's sound reminds me of the Talking Heads in the best possible ways; not so much vocally, but within instrumental depth (leave the vocal reminiscence to Alec Ounsworth and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah). I can remember seeing live videos of David Byrne and Talking Heads and just thinking about how bad I wanted to be there, jumping along with the strikingly upbeat sounds. And that's what Reptar does best. Body Faucet, much like a Reptar live show, builds upon itself, riling you up in the best ways possible, before settling you down, giving you a moment to breathe and gather yourself. Then, next thing you know, the band gets your heart going again, and you just want to scream along with the lyrics.

Reptar relishes in their unique sound and Body Faucet does not fall short of any expectations that the indie/power-pop scene has within it. If anything the album provides reason to find promise in the genre, by blurring the lines of the genre itself. The album is seamlessly polished and produced that some might find nauseating upon first listen. But keep listening, and you'll find something new in every song each time you listen to it.

It is extremely difficult for me not to recommend this album to anyone and everyone I encounter. Not only are the songs electrifying and intriguing, but Reptar's growth and effort are showcased so perfectly on this album, that I can not think of any other group that deserves the praise. Bravo, Reptar... Bravo.

My Rating: 4.8/5

I encourage you to purchase Body Faucet at the following locations:

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