Album Review: Reptar, ‘Lurid Glow’

Reptar Lurid Glow
(Joyful Noise Recordings – March 31, 2015)
(Alternative, Indie, Pop)
Review by Rob Leonard

Reptar will go down in mythical adulation from those who truly experience their music. Each release since and including 2011’s Oblangle Fizz Y’all are comprised of dense single driven tracks, pulling from notable influences including the Talking Heads to the more recent Bombay Bicycle Club. This potluck of musical oddities is precisely why Reptar continues to grow as a mainstay in the SouthEast tour circuit. They are consistent (damn consistent) and unabashedly relevant.

For context, Oblangle Fizz Y’all garnered a growing fan base in the wake of a Animal Collective’s most notable transition period and the influence they had on new artists. While Reptar dived into pop sentiment, notable on “Stuck in My Id”, they also took notes from environmental effects a la The Books. “Context Clues” acts as a reminder of the album’s quite ubiquity through the use of bird samples as background texture, fluctuating melodies, and polyrythms indicative of Animal Collective’s broad impact. Just a year later, Graham Ulciny (vocalist) and Co. released Body Faucet, a fine tuned pop beast. The album heavily incorporated Vampire Weekend’s insight that calypso guitar was a thing – a cool, fun thing, heard on “Please Don’t Kill Me.” Remaining relevant is important and although keeping with your contemporaries is good practice you have to grow and show sincerity in your work. Look no further than, “Thank You Gliese 370 b” and “Ghost Bike” for a direct line of sight into who Reptar is as a band. Lurid Glow‘s predecessors create a direct tie to the musical undulations surrounding the band’s ethos. The result is a string of small but important successes so that they could gain traction and release music that more directly communicated what they have have learned about themselves and their direction. Strange plants require strong soil.

Lurid Glowshows a desire for the long game as Reptar’s growth is insanely subtle. Each album places pulse at the forefront but Lurid showcases the apparent knack for technicality and robust production choices, only touched on in previous attempts. Opener, “No One Will Ever Love You,” breathes in deep from the start before heavy rhythmic synth and horn stabs take over. You’ll unconsciously imagine a David Byrne grin and feel grace from it. Graham’s falsetto is the best sign of his maturing voice. Reptar aims for mild disorientation to contrast what most consider dance music. To whit, “Cable” and “Easier to Die” offer sonic jitters in the form of weighty guitar, a departure from previous albums and the rest of Lurid Glow. The last statement is especially true with the exception of “Every Change I Get”, which is a sincere and emotional track reminiscent of the Cure, “I drink it, Lap it up, and Love it.”

You can’t help but see the potential in a band so apt to take on their influences. With that in the foreground, it’s not hard to accept Lurid Glow for the technical, interesting, and upbeat record it sets out to be. This is the best Reptar release to date, signifying a band in tune with who they are and in line with where they are going.

 

Notable Tracks:
“Ice Black Sand”
“No One Will Ever Love You”
“Every Chance I Get”
“Cable”

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