Sometimes a band becomes successful and what follows is a plethora of copyists that spill out from it’s edges, all sounding like the genetic descendants of the original act. In days gone by it would have quickly become a scene, NME Magazine would have wet their underwear with over-excitement and the kids would be rushing to join the scene. Sadly, in 2011 we no longer seem to see this same tribal adoption, as the music-loving public are more happy to skip between genres never allowing one band, or one set of similar bands, to dominate.
This leaves music journalism with the unenviable task of writing about bands by listing endless other artists that they sound like in order to describe a new act. It’s like being a history teacher, explaining the bloodline of every new band, discussing which branch on music’s genre-packed family tree from which they’ve grown.
Well, as we turn to Reptar, a new four piece band from Athens, Georgia, we should probably start the lesson at Passion Pit and work our way through Yes Giantess, Wave Machines and more recently, The Naked & Famous. From each of these bands they’ve inherited the genes that begin to come out during the teenage years; it’s very sexual, it loves to party, it works hard on looking great, and they sound like they want to live forever.
Stand out track, Stuck In My Id, is initially lead by William Kennedy’s bouncing synths, as Graham Ulicny’s vocals swing around them like they’re on a helter-skelter. After approximately one minute the guitar appears, adding a touch of weight to the otherwise candyfloss-light tune. Lyrics of teenage angst, “I never meant to hurt you“, confirm this is music by kids, for kids. Just like a lot of quality pop.
They’re clearly able to set a different pace as they change things up somewhat on the tune Blastoff. Although it’s no revolution in their sound, it’s warmer and more intricate, drifting off into a deeper part of your brain two and half minutes in. Perhaps this is achieved with the help of Ben Allen (Animal Collective’s producer) who had apparently joined them in more recent studio sessions.
The vocals are more confident and shift around like a house fly at a party on the song, Move. What lifts them above their genetic forefathers is that they seem happy to mix up that brand of simplistic celebration pop with a touch more experimentalism. It’s with this song that they perhaps seem most happy to abandon the rules.
They have enjoyed a steady flow of online buzz since the end of 2010, culminating in an exciting set of showcases at last week’s SXSW. Their music is surely best experienced with a live set, so contagious is their energy. You can catch them if you’re in Chicago later this month, before they finish a month-long jaunt around the US by heading back to Georgia in April.
If you can’t make the live shows then you can soon grab their four-track EP, which is due in mid-May. We will have to wait a little longer for a UK visit, but we promise to let you know as soon as we hear anything (or book them ourselves!). Genetic bloodline’s aside, we’re pleased to locate a band that, at the very least, intend to speed up the evolution of any party they’re playing at. (MB)
REPTAR – STUCK IN MY ID
REPTAR – BLASTOFF
REPTAR – CONTEXT CLUES